One of the most intriguing and enigmatic relationships to emerge from the collapse of FTX last year was the connection between Alameda Research and Farmington State Bank. Farmington, a small rural bank in the United States, came under the control of Jean Chalopin, who is best known as the chairman of Deltec, one of the main banks for Alameda Research’s trading arm, FTX. This relationship played a significant role in the collapse of FTX and continues to be important for Tether USDT, the largest fiat-backed stablecoin.
Chalopin acquired control over Farmington through FBH Corp, where he was listed as an executive officer. Interestingly, Noah Perlman, a former DOJ and DEA official who is now the Chief Compliance Officer at Binance, was also listed as a director of FBH Corp. Perlman, the son of Jeffrey Epstein associate and musician Itzhak Perlman, has never publicly explained his connection to this Chalopin-controlled entity.
Last December, Unlimited Hangout reported that soon after Chalopin’s acquisition, Farmington pivoted to deal with cryptocurrency and international payments. This was a significant shift for the bank, which had previously served as a single branch community bank in rural Washington for decades. However, after entering the crypto space, Farmington faced difficulties in moving money and sought approval to become part of the Federal Reserve system. It also changed its name from Farmington State Bank to Moonstone Bank.
The approval of Farmington by the Federal Reserve raised eyebrows, as it was seen as highly unusual and potentially overlooking Moonstone’s for-profit foreign interests. When asked about the approval process, Eric Kollig, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve, declined to comment.
In early March, just days after formally changing its name to Moonstone, Alameda Research invested millions into the bank, which was more than twice its entire net worth at the time. Moonstone’s Chief Digital Officer, Jean Chalopin’s son Janvier, described the funding as “seed funding” to execute their new plan of becoming a tech-focused bank. Jean Chalopin himself stated that Alameda’s investment signified the recognition by one of the world’s most innovative financial leaders of the value of their goals, marking a new step in building the future of banking.
The fact that a Bahamas-based company like FTX was able to purchase a stake in a federally approved bank without attracting regulatory attention has been noted as highly unusual by outlets like Protos. Washington State regulators have claimed to be aware of Alameda’s investment in Farmington Moonstone and defended their decision not to intervene or take further regulatory action.
It is worth mentioning that the influx of new money into the revamped Farmington was not exclusive to FTX and Alameda. According to a New York Times article, Farmington Moonstone’s deposits, which had remained around $1 million for many decades, quickly surged to $20 million, with $16 million coming from just four new accounts during the same relatively short period in 2021.
On the same day that Alameda’s investment was announced, Moonstone appointed Ronald Oliveira as CEO. Oliveira had previously worked for the fintech company Revolut, a leading digital alternative bank financed by Jeffrey Epstein associate Nicole Junkermann. Two months later, the bank hired Joseph Vincent as its legal counsel. Vincent had previously served as the general counsel for Washington State’s Department of Financial Institutions and its director of legal and regulatory affairs for several years.
These developments took place shortly before the collapse of FTX, which had a significant impact on Farmington and its relationship with Alameda Research. The full extent of the consequences and implications of this relationship is yet to be fully understood, but it undoubtedly adds to the intrigue and mystery surrounding the collapse of FTX and the involvement of various individuals and entities.