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FTX Bankruptcy Lawyers Ask Court for $323m Recovery From FTX Europe Leadership

Crypto exchange FTX's lawyers have asked a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware to award recovery of more than $323.5 million from FTX's Europe leadership, according to a court filing Wednesday.

Lawyers on behalf of FTX Trading Ltd. and Maclaurin Investments Ltd. (owned by Alameda Research, the hedge fund arm of the bankrupt FTX empire) asked the court to order the return of funds transferred to Patrick Gruhn, Robin Matzke, Brandon Williams, and Lorem Ipsum UG, the leadership of FTX Europe.

Sam Bankman-Fried and the FTX Group had paid approximately $323.5 million in return for the acquisition of Swiss Company DAAG, which would ultimately come to be known as FTX Europe. The lawyers alleged that the company had limited business and no intellectual property beyond a "business plan."

"FTX Insiders pursued the DAAG acquisition because they believed DAAG’s founders could provide access to European regulators that would allow FTX to obtain the necessary licenses for activities in the European Economic Area, and because they wanted to benefit Williams and Matzke, who had preexisting relationships with Bankman-Fried ..." the filing said.

The lawyers alleged that the FTX Europe leadership received excessive earn-out payments of nearly $100 million in connection with acquiring K-DNA, an entity already licensed to operate in the European Economic Area and which was later incorporated into FTX Europe, for only €2 million.

The lawyers have also asked the court to stop the payment of any amount still remaining to be paid to the FTX Europe leadership. The deal was for more than $376 million, of which $52.5 million is the obligation still remaining, the filing said.

The lawyers argued that FTX Europe lacks value as an asset and is unable to be sold. In April, a Swiss court approved a request by FTX to explore the sale of FTX Europe. In March, FTX Europe began the process of allowing customers to withdraw funds locked up.

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