Former FTX chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal court, New York, January 3, 2023. (Photo by Ed JONES / AFP)...FP via Getty Images
Add Google, Meta, TikTok, Twitter and Apple to the list of companies owed money by the ill-starred crypto exchange FTX in the aftermath of its catastrophic collapse. A new “creditor matrix,” published by FTX’s lawyers on Wednesday to the United States Bankruptcy Court of Delaware, runs 115 pages-long and contains thousands of names.
The extensive list shows just how many people, companies, media outlets, governments and other entities are owed money by FTX — an attempt to map the millions of customers that engaged with the exchange before its founder Sam Bankman-Fried and executives were accused of fraud and deceiving investors.
It’s unclear how much money is allegedly owed to the tech companies; that information is not provided in the matrix. Other names included Netflix, LinkedIn, Amazon and Microsoft. (Lawyers for FTX previously objected to the inclusion of creditor identities, and nearly 10 million names were withheld from the new document.)
FTX heavily promoted itself through advertising campaigns, sponsorships and paid partnerships, however. It’s possible that some or all of these companies are owed ad fees, as the exchange had accounts on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter, or cloud hosting fees in the case of Amazon.
Netflix spokesperson Emily Feingold told Forbes that the company was “not aware of ever having any business relationship with FTX and do not understand why they would have listed us as a creditor.” Edgar Mosley, a managing director at restructuring consultancy Alvarez & Marsal who filed the creditor list, did not immediately respond to questions about potential discrepancies.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. FTX does not appear to have run Facebook ads, according to the platform’s ad library.
Microsoft declined to comment. FTX, Apple, Google, Meta, TikTok, Netflix, Twitter, LinkedIn and Amazon had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the creditor matrix contained thousands, not millions, of names.
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Newly unsealed bankruptcy documents revealed thousands of creditors to whom FTX owes money after the once-mighty crypto exchange collapsed in November. Wall Street heavyweights including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan were named in the creditor list, which includes businesses, charities, individuals and other entities in a 116-page document filed late Wednesday. FTX is now at the center of a massive fraud investigation.
Also included in the creditors list are media companies, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, commercial airliners, including American, United, Southwest and Spirit, as well as several Big Tech players, including Netflix, Apple and Meta. On Thursday, lawyers for FTX filed an additional document advising the court that the list — known as a creditor matrix — is “intended to be very broad” and “includes parties who may appear in the Debtors books and records for any number of reasons.”
Being on the list does not “necessarily indicate that the party is a creditor” of FTX or its affiliates, they wrote. Goldman Sachs, for one, is named in the creditor matrix but doesn’t appear to be a creditor. In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, the bank said it had not filed a claim against FTX. “This type of creditor matrix is prepared by the debtors for the purpose of providing notice to interested parties in a bankruptcy proceeding and is not necessarily evidence of a creditor relationship,” a spokesperson said.
The crypto platform was once of the most popular crypto exchanges on the planet, fueled by celebrity endorsements and high-profile partnerships with sports teams. It marketed itself as a beginner-friendly crypto platform, allowing customers to deposit fiat currency and trade it for digital assets. But FTX came unraveled in November as speculation about its balance sheet sparked investor panic. In the midst of a liquidity crisis, the company filed for bankruptcy, leaving customers in limbo.
Federal prosecutors investigating FTX say that its founder and former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, orchestrated a massive fraud by stealing customer funds to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research. They also accuse him of using stolen money to buy luxury real estate and contribute to US poltical campaigns.
Bankman-Fried, who was indicted in December and remains under house arrest at his parents’ California home, pleaded not guilty to eight criminal counts earlier this month. He has repeatedly denied committing fraud, and is scheduled to go to trial in October. Two of his former business partners have pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges and are cooperating with prosecutors from the Southern District of New York. Both associates have implicated Bankman-Fried in the alleged crimes.