Ruairi Donnelly was the former chief of staff of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX. He used insider trading information from FTX tokens to enrich Polaris Ventures, his charitable foundation.
Polaris’s majority of wealth was derived from Donnelly’s first transfer of FTT, after he bought the token prior to its public listing. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), is the source. reported Tuesday, citing people who are familiar with the matter.
Polaris Earned Millions with FTT
According to WSJ Donnelly was a former employee of trading firm Alameda Research, before he became chief of staff at FTX.
While working at both companies, Donnelly founded Polaris, a Swiss foundation that promotes research into effective altruism, and artificial intelligence. Donnelly and other employees were offered a deal to buy FTT tokens at $0.05 each when FTX was first launched. This was before they went public for $1.
Donnelly accepted the offer, and requested that FTX exchange $562,000 from his salary in exchange for 11.2 Million FTT tokens. FTX sent the tokens to Polaris at his request. This was confirmed by the financial statements of the foundation.
Polaris’s Assets are Stuck on FTX
Six months later, FTT started trading publicly in 2020. The foundation was able to make millions of dollars by selling its stock on the open market. Notably, Donnelly was still employed by FTX.
Later in the year, Donnelly resigned as a director of FTX and Alameda in order to devote more time to his work at Polaris. The foundation eventually began investing its new capital into artificial intelligence companies, including Anthropic.
FTX and its affiliate entities Filed For voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in November, millions of assets of customers are frozen on the platform. This includes 20% of Polaris’s wealth.
Polaris has $150 million in assets, and $30 million is stuck in FTX. Donnelly wants to exit the account by selling the rights for cents per dollar.
Donnelly’s Lawyer says Other
Jason P.W., Donnelly’s attorney, was in the meantime. Halperin claimed that the first FTT sent to the foundation did not belong to FTX as they were for the client’s unpaid wages. He claimed that Donnelly had intended to donate a portion of his income when he began working for Alameda.
Halperin revealed further that Donnelly was a colleague at FTX, Alameda Polaris also received FTT worth $30,000