A freedom of information request shows that UK investors approached British police to help retrieve £2m in lost FTX funds, But the FCA can not do much to help.
According to a freedom of information (FOI) request by trading website Investing Reviews, City of London police were in contact with 32 individuals who lost £1.9m after FTX, the Bahamas-based exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried, imploded in early November as customers tried to withdraw their money.
The City of London Police is an independent police force responsible for law enforcement within the financial district of London known as the “Square Mile.” Therefore It is separate from the Metropolitan Police Service that covers the rest of Greater London.
One trader spoken to by the police lost over £1m in the collapse. The victims ranged in age from a teenager to a person in their seventies.
In the US, Bankman-Fried is facing wire fraud charges over allegations that customers’ funds were used to finance his sister trading outfit, Alameda Research. At this time, two top executives at FTX have already pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
“Just the Tip of the Iceberg” From FTX Collapse
Insolvency teams overseeing the winding up of FTX have reportedly recovered over $5bn in assets. However, the extent of customer losses remains unclear.
According to Simon Jones, the chief of Investing Reviews, the reported losses by UK customers are likely just the beginning. It is likely “just be the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Jones cautioned investors against putting all their money into cryptocurrencies. Also reminding them of the Financial Conduct Authority’s repeated warnings that they could lose all their invested funds.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) oversees cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the UK and can take action against exchanges that violate regulations. However, it does not offer any assurance or safeguard for customer funds lost due to an exchange’s collapse or insolvency. Currently, crypto firms are only regulated for money laundering.
Additionally, the disgraced former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was hit with 12 new charges on Thursday. These included eight counts of fraud, money laundering, and other charges related to the collapse of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange.
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