The new management of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has reportedly hired a team of financial forensic investigators to track down the billions of dollars worth of missing client crypto.
Financial advisory firm AlixPartners was chosen for the task and is led by former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chief accountant Matt Jacques, according to a Dec. 7 statement. report from the Wall Street Journal.
It is understood that the forensic company will be responsible for conducting an “asset search” to identify and recover missing digital assets and will complete the restructuring work undertaken by FTX.
The 11th of November hackers emptied wallets owned by FTX and FTX.US with over $450 million in assets.
Former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried claimed in a recorded November 16 interview with crypto blogger Tiffany Fong that he was close to finding who the hacker was and that he had “narrowed it down to eight people”, thinking it was “either a former employee or somewhere someone installed malware on a former employee’s computer “.
On November 22, a lawyer representing FTX debtors said “a substantial amount of assets have been stolen or are missing” from FTX, and revealed at the time that blockchain analytics firms such as Chainalysis had been enlisted to help with the proceedings .
The funds stolen from FTX have since been moved through various mixers and crypto exchanges to launder the funds.
They then used a laundering technique called peel chaining which subdivides the holdings into smaller and smaller amounts across multiple wallets and sends the BTC through a crypto mixer then to OKX exchange November 29.
The hacker also attempted to chain more peels in split 180,000 ETH on 12 newly created wallets on November 21.
Former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also previously claimed having “unknowingly mixed” the funds of clients of FTX and its sister trading company Alameda Research with the funds of clients of FTX loaned to Alameda.
FTX’s new CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer, John Ray III, has been scalded during its initial bankruptcy filing claiming that “never” in his 40-year career had he “seen such a complete failure of corporate controls”.
He claimed that Bankman-Fried and his closest colleagues were “potentially compromised” and were using “software to conceal the misuse of client funds”.