FTX’s bankruptcy advisers have filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Bybit Fintech and its two affiliated companies.
The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware court on Friday, alleges that Bybit’s investment arm, Mirana Corp., enjoyed special “VIP” benefits that were not available to most FTX customers.
It claimed that Mirana exploited these privileges to withdraw a significant portion of its assets from Bankman-Fried’s platform just before its collapse in November 2022.
According to the complaint, Mirana exerted pressure on FTX employees to fulfill its withdrawal requests while regular customers of FTX.com were left waiting for hours to access their funds as the exchange faced imminent collapse.
The lawsuit seeks to recover assets amounting to around $953 million, including more than $327 million that Mirana allegedly withdrew from FTX between the early morning of November 7 and November 8, 2022, when FTX paused withdrawals.
The bankruptcy lawsuit names Bybit Fintech Ltd., Mirana, and affiliated crypto trading firm Time Research Ltd. as defendants.
It also lists a senior Mirana executive and Singaporean residents who allegedly benefited from or played a role in the FTX withdrawals, which are now subject to the bankruptcy proceedings.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy typically grants failed companies the opportunity to recover funds in the months leading up to the filing.
This provision is designed to prevent certain creditors from benefiting unfairly simply because they were able to withdraw their funds from a failing business while others could not.
FTX said in the lawsuit that it determined the value of the assets withdrawn by Bybit and its affiliates using November 1 pricing, with the possibility of supplementing pricing information as the litigation progresses.
The complaint also acknowledges that some of its legal claims may be subject to “subsequent new value” defenses.
FTX Ramps Up Efforts to Recover Lost Funds
The lawsuit against Bybit is the latest in a series of legal actions initiated by FTX’s new management to reclaim funds disbursed prior to its Chapter 11 filing in November of the previous year.
For one, the company has initiated legal action against Kives and his venture capital firm, K5, to recover the estimated $700 million Bankman-Fried had invested in it.
The complaint claims that Bankman-Fried was a “profligate patron” who sent millions to Kives, K5 Global, and Baum after he attended a social event hosted by Kives in 2022.
the company has also tried to recover funds donated to politicians and charitable organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Just recently, the company’s advisers revealed that they are investigating the possibility of reclaiming millions of dollars paid to celebrities, including Shaquille O’Neal and Naomi Osaka, for their endorsements of the platform.