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Wall Street executives representing creditors in the Sam Bankman-Fried-FTX scandal are growing increasingly optimistic they will be able to recover a sizable amount of money that went missing during the chaotic implosion of the crypto exchange, The Post has learned.

However, the process could take as long as two years, leaving nearly a million FTX customers in limbo and without their money for the foreseeable future, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

New FTX CEO John Ray could recover as much half or two-thirds of the approximately $8 billion lost when Bankman-Fried allegedly began to pilfer crypto wallets held by as many as 1 million customers, these people say.

The burst of optimism for Ray making a decent creditor recovery comes as he filed paperwork with the court showing he had found around $5 billion in liquid assets.

Valuing many of these assets, however, could be difficult, particularly when it comes to investments in illiquid crypto, or volatile venture capital. That could mean less money distributed to creditors.


Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried has been indicted on securities fraud charges.
Matthew McDermott for NY Post

While there has been a flight to quality in the industry resulting in rising Bitcoin prices, other cryptos have traded significantly lower since the FTX crash as investors fear regulation and worry that such coins have no inherent value.


Catch up on The Post’s latest in the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX scandal


“We don’t know if Ray will value money going back to people based on what their crypto is worth then or what it’s worth now,” said one attorney involved in the process.

Ray didn’t return calls for comment.

Bankman-Fried has been indicted on securities fraud charges. Prosecutors allege he stole money from FTX customer wallets to pay for losing trades in his affiliated Alameda Research hedge fund to finance his lavish lifestyle and make political contributions that were designed to sway government oversight of the crypto industry.

FTX’s dramatic collapse in November and bankruptcy is still roiling the $1 trillion crypto currency market. Bankman-Fried, known in the industry as SBF, was a crypto wunderkind building a digital empire that took his net worth to $30 billion.


John Ray shakes hands with committee member Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, last month.
Ray shakes hands with committee member Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.
AP

His fortune has largely dissipated and his crypto empire remains in shambles as Ray mounts an aggressive effort to seize assets and return money to creditors, who are represented by the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, and Wall Street advisers Perella Weinberg and private equity firm Alvarez & Marsal.

In addition to his various business ventures, SBF shelled out tens of millions of dollars to charities and nonprofits. He was one of President Biden’s largest contributors to his 2020 campaign.

Investment bankers will be selling off parts of the ill-fated FTX empire including subsidiaries Bankman-Fried created and a series of venture capital investments and real estate holdings.

Ray could even claw back political contributions and charitable donations, people close to the matter say. He also is considering re-starting the FTX exchange to provide additional cash.


By: Ny Post

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Entain’s shares tumble as MGM scraps buyout plan – One America News Network

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(Reuters) -Shares of Entain plc tumbled as much as 13% on Thursday after U.S-based MGM Resorts International said it had “moved on” from pursuing an offer for the British gambling firm.

Although MGM remains focused on online sportsbook BetMGM – its joint venture with Entain – it saw great potential in expanding LeoVegas, a Swedish online gaming company it bought last year, MGM Chief Executive William Hornbuckle said on Wednesday.

While Entain rejected a takeover approach worth roughly $11 billion from MGM back in 2021, there has been market chatter about another attempt from the casino operator to buy Entain or its North American operations.

“So, for now, the answer is no, not within Entain,” Hornbuckle said.

“We’re going to go down our own direction as we begin to allocate capital.”

Entain’s shares fell as much as 13% to a more-than-one-month low of 1365.5 pence in morning trade.

Entain said earlier this month it would end its financial support for BetMGM once that business turns profitable.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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Will ‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Return For Season 2?

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Criminal Minds: Evolution aired its Season 1 finale on February 9, and though the eventful episode gave fans of Paramount+‘s Criminal Minds revival series closure on Elias Voit (Zach Gilford) and David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a few lingering questions — like what the heck is Gold Star?! — remain. So will Criminal Minds: Evolution return with answers in another season?

After a 15-season run, the beloved original series concluded on CBS in 2020, but Evolution welcomed back fan-favorite cast members including Mantegna as Rossi, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Aisha Tyler as Tara Lewis, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, and Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss. This time around, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit was on the hunt for Voit, a skillful UnSub who assembled a team of serial killers during COVID-19 lockdown.

So will our favorite BAU agents return to screens again for Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2? Here’s everything we know about the future of the Paramount+ series.

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds: Evolution
Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

Will Criminal Minds: Evolution Return For Season 2?

Good news, Criminal Minds fans. Evolution is returning with another batch of new episodes!

Back in December 2022, Criminal Minds: Evolution showrunner Erica Messer told Decider’s Raven Brunner that she and the writers had already started talking about a potential Season 2. “Hopefully there will be good news on that in the new year, but we can’t stop thinking about it,” she shared. “I love this group of actors and I think we have such a fondness for one another. They’re huge fans of this. I mean, they were fans of the original, but they’re huge fans of this serialized version.”

On January 12, Paramount+ announced that Criminal Minds: Evolution was officially renewed for a Season 2, noting that it’s one of the platform’s top five original series.

“We’re thrilled to bring even more twisted storylines to our loyal fans of Criminal Minds: Evolution with the order of another season,” Tanya Giles, Paramount Streaming’s chief programming officer, said in a statement. “There are still many dark twists and turns yet to come for the BAU…”

Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds: Evolution
Photo: Michael Yarish /Paramount+

What Will A Season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution Look Like?

If you have yet to watch the Season 1 finale and want to avoid spoilers, consider this your chance to stop reading. But if you’re all caught up on Episode 10, “Dead End,” you know that although Voit is now in custody, he has crucial knowledge of a secretive project or organization called Gold Star. BAU agents are even in the dark on Gold Star, so their whispers of the curious words in the finale will likely lead to a larger Season 2 investigation. The final seconds of the Season 1 finale also show a mystery person entering the room to talk to Voit. Who is that? What is Gold Star? And will Zach Gilford’s role carry over into Season 2? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Though we’re not yet sure when Season 2 will premiere, we’re excited to see what’s in store for this fresh reboot series that’s familiar in all the best ways.

Season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution is now streaming on Paramount+.




By: Ny Post

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Volvo Cars braces for challenging 2023 after quarterly profit falls – One America News Network

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By Marie Mannes

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo Cars said on Thursday 2023 was likely to be another challenging year, despite healthy demand for its vehicles, as the Swedish carmaker reported a fall in quarterly profit.

Volvo Cars, which is majority-owned by Chinese automotive company Geely Holding, said its fourth-quarter operating profit dropped to 3.4 billion crowns ($322.2 million)from 3.7 billion crowns a year earlier.

Profits were hit by high lithium prices, and having to buy semiconductors and logistics in the spot market, which can be more expensive than under long term contracts.

Volvo Cars and its peers have faced lingering chip shortages over the past year that have periodically hit manufacturing, with the Sweden-based company forced at times to halt production at some factories temporarily.

Other supply chain issues, the energy crisis and red-hot inflation have also made life tougher for the company.

“While 2023 looks to be another challenging year, we are hopeful that the COVID-related supply shortages from China are behind us and that we continue to see steady improvement in the supply of semiconductors,” it said in a statement.

“Despite the global turbulence, uncertainty and our recent price increases, we continue to see healthy demand for our cars,” Volvo Cars said, adding it expected a “solid” double-digit growth in retail sales during 2023.

However, Volvo Cars reaffirmed its mid-decade targets, which include selling cars at an annual run-rate of 1.2 million, with half of them electric. Some analysts had said ahead of the report that target was too ambitious.

“We remain doubtful whether the company will be able to achieve these targets before 2027 and think the company will have to significantly stretch its definition of ‘mid-decade’,” Bernstein said.

Volvo Cars shares fell over 3% at the market open, but were flat at around 0954 GMT.

CEO Jim Rowan defended the targets in an interview with Reuters, saying demand, new models and the easing of supply constraints would make it easier for the company to hit them.

    He also said the company did not plan to reduce the price of its vehicles, despite other electric carmakers such as Tesla doing so.

Toyota Motor, which also reported results on Thursday, cut its annual manufacturing target in November and again on Thursday. This, like Volvo, is despite its vehicles sales rising.

December was the strongest month ever in cars produced for Volvo.

The company once again proposed not paying a dividend, but confirmed in a call to analysts that it would pay a bonus to its employees this year, and that it had no plans for job cuts

“If you look at our electrification journey and our growth ambitions … we’re going to be pretty comfortable in keeping our people busy,” Rowan said.

(Reporting by Marie Mannes, additional reporting by Agata Rybska; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)

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