DOJ Investigating $372 Million in Missing FTX Funds, Report Says

The criminal probe is reportedly separate from the fraud case against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Alix Langone Former Reporter
Alix is a former CNET Money staff writer. She also previously reported on retirement and investing for Money.com and was a staff writer at Time magazine. Her work has also appeared in various publications, such as Fortune, InStyle and Travel + Leisure, and she worked in social media and digital production at NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and NY1. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and Villanova University. When not checking Twitter, Alix likes to hike, play tennis and watch her neighbors' dogs. Now based in Los Angeles, Alix doesn't miss the New York City subway one bit.
Alix Langone
A hand holds a smartphone with an FTX logo displayed on its screen. In the background, behind the phone, the FTX website is visible on a computer.
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The US Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen FTX assets, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. 

The probe, which is reportedly independent of the fraud case against FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, centers on more than $370 million that went missing mere hours after the cryptocurrency exchange declared bankruptcy. It hasn't yet been determined whether it was an inside job or the work of hackers, Bloomberg reported. US authorities have so far managed to freeze a small portion of the stolen funds, the news outlet said, citing an unnamed person familiar with the case.

The investigation is being run by the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which the Justice Department established last year to focus on cybercrime and illicit cryptocurrency activities. NCET is working with federal prosecutors in Manhattan who are running the criminal investigation into Bankman-Fried, who's accused of mismanaging billions in customer funds to prop up FTX, and faces eight counts of conspiracy and criminal activity related to wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and violation of campaign finance laws.

In the separate fraud case against Bankman-Fried, more court documents released Tuesday reportedly show that the former CEO, who was recently released on $250 million bail, said he and FTX co-founder Gary Wang borrowed more than $546 million in funds from Alameda Research, a trading firm started by Bankman-Fried, to purchase shares of Robinhood, a fee-free trading app. 

The Justice Department didn't respond to a request for comment.