The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized more than 55 million shares of Robinhood (HOOD) stock owned – via a holding company – by Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, according to a court document. The shares were worth just over $456 million based on HOOD's closing price of $8.25 on Friday.
The stock had been held at an account at U.K.-based brokerage ED&F Man.
The "seized Assets constitute property involved in violations" of crimes such as money laundering and wire fraud reads the court document. Sam Bankman-Fried was formally charged with those and other crimes on Dec. 13.
The Robinhood shares were in principle owned by FTX co-founders Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang through their Emergent Fidelity Technologies holding company. FTX, now run by John Ray III, had asked a judge late last month to freeze the stock. Bankman-Fried naturally opposed the move, saying, in part, he needed the shares to help pay his legal fees.
The U.S. government said it was in the process of seizing a number of assets potentially linked to FTX on Wednesday.
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