New Clues Suggest Stolen FTX Funds Went to Russia-linked Money Launderers
The FTX looters moved the stolen money through a string of intermediaries
As the criminal trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried unfolds in a Manhattan courtroom, some observers in the cryptocurrency world have been watching a different FTX-related crime in progress: The still-unidentified thieves who stole more than $400 million out of FTX on the same day that the exchange declared bankruptcy have, after nine months of silence, been busy moving those funds across blockchains in an apparent attempt to cash out their loot while covering their tracks.
Blockchain watchers still hope that money trail might help to identify the perpetrator of the heist—and according to one crypto-tracing firm, some clues now suggest that those thieves may have ties to Russia.
Today, cryptocurrency tracing firm Elliptic released a new report on the complex path those stolen funds have taken over the 11 months since they were pulled out of FTX on November 11 of last year. Elliptic's tracing shows how that nine-figure sum, which FTX puts at between $415 million and $432 million, has since moved through a long list of crypto services as the thieves attempt to prepare it for laundering and liquidation, and even through one service owned by FTX itself. But those hundreds of millions also sat idle for all of 2023—only to begin to move again this month, in some cases as Bankman-Fried himself sat in court.
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