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Voyager gets bankruptcy court approval to pay out $1.6M in employee bonuses

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Voyager Digital Ltd has received approval to pay $1.6 million in bonuses to 34 employees considered critical to the bankrupt digital assets lenders’ future. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles gave the approval following a hearing.

According to a Bloomberg report, the approval will also allow for the non-disclosure of the names of the employees. However, according to court papers cited by the media outlet, none of the redacted names are top executives. 

The beneficiaries were identified as those working in areas like accounting and information technology. Based on available information, the “retention reward” package equals 22.5% of workers’ annual salary.

Meanwhile, the report notes that the hearing was not hitch-free. The official creditor committee attacked the bonus plan after Voyager filed a motion to pay $1.9 million in bonuses to 38 employees earlier this month. The U.S. Trustee’s Office, a bankruptcy watchdog operating under the Department of Justice, also objected to redacting the potential recipients’ names and titles. 

The creditor committee dropped its objection after Voyager agreed to slash the package and take steps to cut costs in other areas to $4.6 million annually. Similarly, Judge Wiles smoothed over the Trustee’s Office objection by insisting that the approval was needed to help Voyager maximize its business and creditor recoveries by keeping critical employees from quitting.

Still no reprieve for majority of users who invested with Voyager

The approval is the second time Voyager has been given the go-ahead by the bankruptcy court to settle some of its obligations. Earlier this month, Voyager won approval to refund $270 million it held in cash to its clients. It has returned about $219 million, or 80%, of this amount so far.

However, over $1 billion of investors’ money remained trapped with the lender since it filed for bankruptcy in July, citing the digital assets market downturn. Voyager was affected by the crash of 3AC, which was, in turn, affected by the downfall of the Terra ecosystem.

Investors who held digital assets with the platform have not been able to recover any of their investments since the saga started to play out. Most of them also have little hope of recovery as Voyager is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC and the Federal Reserve have accused Voyager of making false and misleading statements concerning its deposit insurance status.

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