FTX Digital Markets staff terminated

FTX Digital Markets staff terminated
FTX logo is seen in this illustration taken, November 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Several employees of FTX Digital markets have been made redundant, with the joint provisional liquidators indicating that due to the company’s financial position, they are unable to make redundancy payments.

The liquidators have indicated that instead, employee redundancy payments will rank as a “preferred claim” against the company. It was unclear how many workers had been terminated up to press time.

The termination letter seen by Eyewitness News indicated that employees have been terminated with effect from January 31. The company reportedly had some 40 Bahamian staff.

FTX Digital Markets was placed into provisional liquidation by the Supreme Court of The Bahamas on November 10. Brian Simms KC, Kevin Cambridge, and Peter Greaves, were appointed Joint Provisional Liquidators by the Supreme Court following the collapse of the crypto exchange.

According to the letter, employee salaries for the first nine days of November 2022 (relating to the period prior to the Provisional Liquidation) were paid by the JPLs. For the period 10 November 2022 to 31 January 2023, whilst under the control of the Joint Provisional Liquidators, employees would have been paid by the JPLs and, therefore, have no claim against the company for salary and other emoluments during this period. 

FTX broke ground on its West Bay Street headquarters last April with executives indicating at the time that $60 million towards the development of a boutique hotel, commercial center, and its new headquarters in The Bahamas.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan federal court last month to charges that he defrauded investors and illegally diverted a massive amount of customer deposits to his Alameda Research crypto hedge fund for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan set a tentative trial date of October 2. Bankman-Fried, 30, has been under house arrest at his parents’ California home on a $250 million bond.

After spending a week on remand at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS) he was extradited to the United States from The Bahamas in December to face federal charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering, related to the collapse of his crypto exchange, which sank into bankruptcy last November.