Ruling: FTX Can Redact Customer Names in Bankruptcy Case

FTX has won permission to redact customer names from filings in its bankruptcy case.

The ruling, handed down Friday (June 9) in federal court, came after the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange persuaded a judge that making their names public could put those customers at risk for identity theft or other scams.

“It is the customers who are the most important issue in this case,” Judge Jack Dorsey said, per a report by Reuters. “We want to make sure that they are protected and they don’t fall victim to any types of scams.”

The customers had gone to court in December, arguing that their desire to keep their contact information private was more important than the public interest in a bankruptcy case.

“It is difficult to imagine a more compelling case that would warrant withholding and redacting the information of the thousands of customers who had their funds stolen and never anticipated that their use of cryptocurrency and would become publicly known,” the customers said in their court filing.

In January, Dorsey allowed the company to keep the customer names private for three months. Those customers are among the 1 million creditors, showing — as PYMNTS reported at the time — the scope of FTX’s bankruptcy case.

FTX declared bankruptcy last year following a run on its assets that led to its collapse. The company’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has since been charged with multiple criminal offenses related to the company’s failure.

In recent weeks, Bankman-Fried has filed two legal arguments, each attempting to prove his innocence in the case.

In one court filing, his defense team argues that the federal government brought flawed charges against the disgraced crypto wunderkind in a rush to indict him.

Bankman-Fried was initially charged with eight criminal offenses spanning allegations of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

Since being extradited to the U.S. from the Bahamas, he’s been indicted on new charges, allowing his lawyers to argue that, as these latter charges were not a part of the original extradition agreement, they should be dismissed.

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried’s team filed a motion in late May setting out the groundwork for a defense that argues their client was simply following the advice of his law firm, Fenwick & West, rather than knowingly committing crimes.