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FTX Sues Bybit for $953 Million Over VIP Withdrawals

FTX’s bankruptcy advisers have filed a lawsuit against Bybit Fintech Ltd and two affiliated entities in an attempt to recover approximately $953 million in cash and digital assets, as reported by Bloomberg. This amount was allegedly withdrawn from Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange prior to its Chapter 11 filing one year ago.

The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware court on Friday, claims that Bybit’s investment arm, Mirana Corp., enjoyed exclusive “VIP” benefits not available to most FTX customers. It alleges that Mirana utilized these privileges to move the majority of its assets off FTX’s platform before its collapse in November 2022. The complaint further contends that Mirana pressured FTX employees to expedite its withdrawal requests, leaving regular customers waiting for hours to access their funds during the platform’s demise.

The legal action aims to recover assets valued at around $953 million, including over $327 million allegedly withdrawn by Mirana between the early morning of November 7 and November 8, 2022, when FTX temporarily halted withdrawals.

Bybit Fintech Ltd., Mirana, and an affiliated crypto trading firm named Time Research Ltd are named as defendants in the bankruptcy lawsuit. Additionally, the suit lists a senior Mirana executive at the time and Singaporean residents who, according to the complaint, either benefited from or played a role in the FTX withdrawals subject to the bankruptcy proceedings.

Chapter 11, designed to allow failed companies to reclaim funds in the months leading up to a bankruptcy filing, is being invoked in this case. The lawsuit is part of a series of legal actions by FTX’s new management seeking to recover funds disbursed before the Chapter 11 filing in November.

FTX values the assets withdrawn by Bybit and its affiliates based on November 1 pricing, with the option to supplement pricing information as the litigation progresses. The complaint also acknowledges that some of its legal claims may be subject to “subsequent new value” defenses. Representatives for Bybit have not yet responded to requests for comment, while an FTX spokesman declined to provide a statement.

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