Former FTX Europe Head Sets Record with $1.5M Purchase of Titanic’s Richest Passenger’s Gold Pocket Watch

Patrick Gruhn, the former head of FTX Europe, has acquired a gold pocket watch from the Titanic for nearly $1.5 million, marking the highest amount ever spent at auction on a piece of Titanic memorabilia. 

The watch belonged to John Jacob Astor IV, an American property magnate who was among the wealthiest passengers on the ill-fated ship, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Astor was traveling on the Titanic with his pregnant wife, Madeleine Astor, following their European honeymoon. 

When the ship struck an iceberg in 1912, an officer informed Astor that he could not board a lifeboat until all women and children were safely evacuated. 

Sadly, a week later, Astor’s lifeless body, along with his personal belongings, including the 14-karat gold pocket watch, cufflinks, a diamond ring, and a gold pencil, were recovered from the water.

Gruhn Used Funds from Sale of Companies to Fund the Purchase

Patrick Gruhn revealed that he used funds obtained from the sale of his companies to purchase the historic timepiece for his wife, Maren Gruhn. 

The couple intends to display the watch in museums, allowing others to appreciate this significant artifact from the Titanic’s tragic voyage.

According to news on May 2, Patrick Gruhn, the former head of European business of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, bought a gold pocket watch that survived the sinking of the Titanic for a sky-high price of 1.175 million pounds (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars) last Saturday. ,…

— Jill (@Jill_yan1) May 2, 2024

In July 2023, the FTX bankruptcy estate sought the recovery of over $323.5 million from the leadership of FTX Europe. 

As part of a settlement, Gruhn and other parties agreed to repurchase FTX’s European assets for approximately $33 million. 

Gruhn stated that he was unaware of the FTX fraud before its collapse. 

Following the FTX incident in November 2022, Gruhn relocated to Oregon, where he now manages a German Catholic TV network and endeavors to establish a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange in Europe.

SBF Appeals Fraud Conviction and Sentence

Last week, Sam Bankman-Fried filed to appeal his conviction and sentence for fraud and conspiracy charges. 

The disgraced crypto boss was convicted last November after a month-long trial on seven different charges and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.

In an additional court filing, attorneys for the FTX founder requested that Judge Lewis A. Kaplan keep Bankman-Fried at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn to “facilitate access to his appellate counsel” as he works to overturn his sentence.

During his sentencing, lawyers for Bankman-Fried called the Metropolitan Detention Center “the worst federal jail in the country,” with prisoners having experienced issues such as lack of access to water and poor electricity.

As reported, the FTX bankruptcy estate has outlined its target to initiate repayments to customers by the end of 2024, as disclosed during a meeting of FTX Digital’s Joint Official Liquidators in the Bahamas. 

The FTX bankruptcy consists of two distinct processes, including the Chapter 11 bankruptcy being overseen by a Delaware court in the United States and the official liquidation of FTX Digital, the Bahamas-based subsidiary of FTX.

However, both entities have agreed to collaborate, allowing creditors to submit their claims to either party while ensuring that no creditor receives less than their entitled value.

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