What had appeared, just a few weeks ago, to be a surefire acquisition of Fortress Trust by Ripple has fallen through, according to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. No reason was given for abandoning the acquisition but Garlinghouse did say that “Ripple will remain an investor,” and that “the Fortress team is incredibly talented.”
While speculation is swirling about what could have caused the dramatic, sudden change of plans, what can’t be ignored is that Fortress CEO Scott Purcell allegedly took millions of dollars from the now-bankrupt Prime Trust and then went on to found Fortress.
Hack, losses, and questions
Prime Trust, which consisted of a similar “incredibly talented” team, has been accused of siphoning customer funds to purchase digital assets, including Terra and Luna in 2022. The Nevada-based trust was forced into bankruptcy after losing a catastrophic amount of money despite raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital.
Meanwhile, Fortress Trust, which began on the heels of the collapse of Prime Trust and with the same former CEO (Purcell), has already suffered a hack and loss of funds. Whether or not the hack was far more extensive than what’s been admitted to has yet to be determined, but there are seemingly few other obvious reasons for Ripple to back out of the deal.