Farmington State Bank
The bank had just three employees as of March 2022 and specialized in providing agricultural loans to farmers. Bankman-Fried's trading firm Alameda Research later took a stake in Farmington – at which time it was rebranded as "Moonstone."
ACCORDING TO A COURT FILING PUBLISHED FRIDAY, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried had just $50 million in an account at a little-known bank based in rural Washington state. Prosecutors said that on January 4, they seized $49,999,500 that Bankman-Fried had deposited at Farmington State Bank to track down approximately $700 million worth of assets up for forfeiture.
Alameda Research Buys Stake in Farmington
Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research trading firm bought a stake in Farmington last March for $11.5 million — more than double the bank's net worth.
Farmington's Specialization and Size
At that time, the little-known bank was the 26th smallest bank in the US out of approximately 4,800. It's located in Farmington, WA – which only has 146 residents and is so small that Google Street View doesn't even cover the entire town. According to a November New York Times report, Farmington had just three employees, specialized in making agricultural loans to farmers, and did not offer online banking or credit cards at the time of Bankman-Fried's investment.
Farmington Rebrands as "Moonstone"
At the time of the NYT report, the bank said it had 32 employees and a $115 million valuation "in line with other similar technology banks and trust-bank startups." The bank had trademarked the name "Moonstone" days before Almeida's investment and had recently been listed online as "Moonstone Bank." While its website did not directly mention cryptocurrencies, it wanted to "support the development of next-generation finance."
Farmington Returns to its Roots
The small rural bank said it was retiring the Moonstone name and returning to its roots as a community bank after waves of high-profile bankruptcies and a liquidity crisis hit crypto over the past year. Is. "The change in strategy reflects the impact of recent events in the crypto asset industry and the changing regulatory environment related to crypto asset businesses," Farmington said in a statement published on January 18.
Bankman-Fried's Asset Forfeiture
Federal prosecutors are working to track down assets held by Bankman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to eight counts of fraud earlier this month and is to face trial in October. They allege that he used FTX customers' money to promote Alameda.
As well as cash deposited with Farmington, they also seized $100 million in accounts with crypto-focused bank Silvergate Capital and $21 million with brokerage firm ED&F Man Capital Markets. US authorities also seized about 55 million Robinhood shares worth $526 million as of Friday's closing bell and are probing crypto and cash held by Bankman-Fried in three accounts with rival.