FTX Customers Sent Money to Fake Electronics Retailer to Fund Alameda
- Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX had customers wire money to North Dimension, a mysterious company with a fake electronics retail website, NBC News reported.
- Money sent to North Dimension would end up funding Alameda Research’s trading activity, the SEC alleged.
- The North Dimension website has been deactivated, but had misspelled words and claimed to sell laptops and phones.
In the sprawling drama of Sam Bankman-Fried’s fallen crypto empire, the obscure, low-profile North Dimension played a key role in putting FTX customer funds into the hands of affiliate Alameda Research and SBF’s other ventures.
And according to NBC News, North Dimension operated a fake online electronics retail shop, which has now been disabled and archived. The website did not disclose any connection to Bankman-Fried or his companies.
The SEC complaint against ex-Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX cofounder Gary Wang — who have admitted to wrongdoing — alleges that FTX told clients to wire funds to North Dimension if they wanted to trade on the crypto exchange. But those were then used to fund Alameda’s trading activities.
“Bankman-Fried had directed FTX to have customers send funds to North Dimension in an effort to hide the fact that the funds were being sent to an account controlled by Alameda,” the SEC said in the complaint.
FTX filed for bankruptcy last month as reports surfaced that billions in customer funds were sent to Alameda.
Per NBC News’ investigation, North Dimension website claimed to sell devices such as mobile phones and laptops out of an address in Berkeley, California — the same one that housed FTX.
North Dimension’s website, which had many misspelled words and product prices that didn’t make sense, said it aimed to become the most popular website for mobile phone purchases by offering transparent purchasing procedures.
Some of the items listed on North Dimension showed “sale” prices that were retailing well above their normal price, per NBC News. One “iPad 11 ich,” for example, was listed, as well as a mobile device on sale for $899, compared to the normal price of $410.
Customers found the website would then have difficulty completing any purchases. According to the report, when you clicked on a product this message would appear: “Fee free to send a message. We collaborate with ambitious brands and people; we’d love to build something great together.”
An analysis by DomainTools reviewed by NBC shows that North Dimension’s site was created in November 2021 by an unidentified registrant in Hong Kong.
More recently, just a month before FTX imploded, a second North Dimension domain appeared online, identifying itself as a financial services site, but without any contact information.
Currently, Bankman-Fried remains under house arrest at his parents’ home in California. He was extradited from the Bahamas to the US last week, after being indicted earlier this month for a slate of financial crime charges.