FTX CEO John Ray Is Making $1,300 An Hour to Shepherd the Disgraced Crypto Exchange Through Bankruptcy

The famed corporate cleanup executive is set to bring in $2.6 million a year to sort through the disgraced crypto exchange's finances.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz

C-SPAN
John Ray testifying before Congress about FTX on Tuesday.

John Ray called what was going on at fallen crypto exchange "really just old-fashioned embezzlement." He's making a pretty generous salary to clean it up.

Ray, FTX's new CEO, was appointed to shepherd the company through the bankruptcy process — and is reportedly making $1,300 an hour to get it done.

Per CNBC, Ray is considered an independent contractor at FTX, and it is estimated he will make $2.6 million a year while working for the company. He is also still an employee of his consulting firm Owl Hill Advisory, which focuses on bankruptcy law and corporate restructuring, per court documents.

FTX was a crypto exchange helmed by Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded a digital currency trading firm called Alameda Research. Both collapsed last month after anxieties over solvency, and revelations have emerged that FTX was using customer money to fund Alameda.

Related: Who Is Caroline Ellison, Stanford Grad and Former CEO of Alameda Research?

Bankman-Fried was detained in the Bahamas and is in jail, facing charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Southern District of New York.

Ray has taken several scandal-ridden companies through bankruptcy, including Nortel, where executives paid themselves enormous bonuses despite the company's financial struggles, and Enron, which shielded debt from stakeholders (among other things) and famously fell apart in the early 2000s.

Related: New FTX CEO Says Crypto Firm's Failure Worse Than Enron

At a Congressional hearing Tuesday, in response to a question about why he thought FTX was worse than Enron, Ray said that the crypto company had "no recordkeeping whatsoever," and was using QuickBooks, the tax and accounting software marketed to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ray is also bringing his own people to the table, including his "bankruptcy guns for hire," per CNBC: Kathryn Schultea, Mary Cilia, and Raj Perubhatla.

Schultea also helped with Enron, per her LinkedIn.

While Ray is employed through Owl Hill, the other three join the team through a firm that focuses on bankruptcy help, RLKS Executive Solutions, and will be paid an annualized total of $5.85 million, per the outlet.

The "debtors," aka, FTX and related entities will pay Ray and his team, per court documents.

While this case has moved very quickly, as one expert told the New York Times' Dealbook, bankruptcy cases can be a drag — Enron went on for over 10 years.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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