FTX Saw ‘Complete Failure of Corporate Controls’ under Bankman-Fried

<p class=”MsoNormal”>John
Ray III, the new Chief Executive Officer of troubled cryptocurrency exchange,
FTX, has described the running of the FTX Group under Sam Bankman-Fried, Co-Founder
and former CEO, as “a complete failure of corporate controls.” Ray III also described the business environment under Bankman-Fried as “unprecedented.”</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>The
new FTX CEO, who has over 40 years of legal and restructuring
experience, noted that he has been the Chief Restructuring Officer or CEO
“in several of the largest corporate failures in history.” </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>Ray
III stated this in <a href=”https://pacer-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/33/188450/042020648197.pdf”>a new FTX court filing</a> dated Thursday and presented in the
United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Ray emerged
as the new CEO of the beleaguered crypto exchange last Friday after <a href=”https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/ftx-the-rise-the-fall-and-the-reaction/” target=”_blank”>FTX’s liquidity crisis</a> pushed it to <a href=”https://www.financemagnates.com/cryptocurrency/troubled-ftx-files-for-bankruptcy-as-ceo-bankman-fried-resigns/” target=”_blank”>file for bankruptcy protection</a>, forcing Bankman-Fried to resign. The FTX Group kicked off voluntary
proceedings under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the
District of Delaware on the same day. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>In
the new filing, Ray III criticized the governance structure, cash and human
resources management, disbursement controls, and record-keeping of digital asset
custody, investment activities and decision-making of the FTX Group under Bankman-Fried. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>“Never
in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such
a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here,” Ray
III said, adding “From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory
oversight abroad to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small
group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised
individuals, this situation is unprecedented.” </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>‘Pervasive
Failures'</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>According
to the new CEO, FTX Trading Limited, operator of Antigua-incorporated crypto exchange platform FTX.com, the Bahamas-based subsidiary FTX Digital Market, and other companies in the FTX Group “did not have appropriate corporate
governance”. Many of them never held Board meetings, he noted. The FTX Group
also did not maintain centralized control of its cash, Ray III added. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>“Cash
management procedure failures included the absence of an accurate list of bank
accounts and account signatories, as well as insufficient attention to the
creditworthiness of banking partners across the world,” he further explained. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>Furthermore, the new CEO described the absence of lasting records of decision-making as
“one of the most pervasive failures of the FTX.com business in particular.” “Mr
Bankman-Fried often communicated by using applications that were set to
auto-delete after a short period of time, and encouraged employees to do the
same,” he noted. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>Additionally,
Ray III noted that the FTX Group combined employees of its various subsidiaries and
outside contractors “with unclear records and lines of responsibility.” As a result, the firm has been unable to prepare a complete list of who worked for the FTX Group up until when it filed for bankruptcy protection. It could also not determine their terms of employment. “Repeated attempts to locate certain presumed employees to confirm their status have been unsuccessful to date,” Ray III said.</p><p class=”MsoNormal”>On
disbursement, the Chief Executive noted that many of the subsidiaries did
not have appropriate controls, adding that supervisors approved financial disbursements
with “personalized emojis” through an online ‘chat’ platform. </p><p class=”MsoNormal”>The new top executive also disclosed that corporate funds were used to buy homes and other personal items for
employees and advisors without being documented as loans. He added that
“certain real estate was recorded in the personal name of these employees and
advisors on the records of the Bahamas.”</p>

This article was written by Solomon Oladipupo at www.financemagnates.com.