Sam Bankman-Fried's failed FTX business empire misused customer funds and lacked trustworthy financial statements or any real internal controls, according to the new boss of the collapsed $32 billion crypto exchange.
John Ray III, a veteran insolvency professional who oversaw the liquidation of Enron, said in a US court filing on Thursday that FTX was the worst case of corporate failure that he had seen in his more than 40-year career.
"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," he wrote.
The statement underlined the chaos and mismanagement at the heart of what was once a leading crypto industry player with deep ties in Washington DC. The demise of Bankman-Fried's FTX empire has plunged crypto markets into a crisis. Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new filing.
Ray said he had found at FTX international, FTX US and Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research trading company "compromised systems integrity," "faulty regulatory oversight," and a "concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated, and potentially compromised individuals."
The scathing filing in the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware painted a picture of severe mismanagement by Bankman-Fried at FTX, a company that raised billions of dollars from top-tier venture capital investors such as Sequoia, SoftBank and Temasek.
FTX failed to keep proper books, records, or security controls for the digital assets it held for customers; used software to "conceal the misuse of customer funds"; and gave special treatment to Alameda, said Ray, adding that "the debtors do not have an accounting department and outsource this function."
He said the company did not have "an accurate list" of its own bank accounts, or even a complete record of the people who worked for FTX. He added that FTX used "an unsecured group email account" to manage the security keys for its digital assets.