The Department of Justice issued the forfeiture bill in an October 4 filing, which listed two aircraft, a Bombardier Global and Embraer Legacy, as part of assets belonging to Bankman-Fried that could potentially be seized from him. SBF has never used these two luxury jets.
Bankman-Fried is currently on trial for fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX, his crypto exchange, in November 2022. Still, he has not pleaded guilty. Airplane trackers’ data revealed that both jets were listed as being privately owned.
An ownership dispute between the DOJ and FTX has arisen over two aircraft, as per the Sept. 21 court filing made as part of bankruptcy preceding Bankman-Fried’s former company, which aims to recover funds for the benefit of its creditors.
Island Air Capital (IAC) filed a document stating, “The Government has taken the position that both aircraft are subject to forfeiture as property purchased with the proceeds of fraud.” However, FTX claims that the loans used to buy the aircraft were not documented, providing them ownership.
Initially, IAC purchased Embraer Legacy for $12.5 million and Bombardier Global for $15.9 million using “financing provided from FTX,” the filing said. The document revealed that the financing was in the form of an unsecured, no-interest loan, which was agreed upon through a “handshake deal” between Bankman-Fried and Paul Aranha, the owner of IAC.