The judge allowed crypto lender Voyager Digital, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, to pay more than 30 employees a collective $1.6 million as a “retention” bonus. Judge Michael Wiles also agreed to seal off the names and titles of employees who could receive bonuses.
A federal judge ruled that crypto lender Voyager Digital, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, can pay more than 30 employees a collective $1.6 million as a “retention” award. Voyager originally filed to pay 38 employees a collective $1.9 million, but some employees have since left, Michael Slade, an attorney with Kirkland & Ellis representing Voyager said.
The so-called “key employee retention plan” or KERP allows Voyager to make payments to certain non-insider employees it sees as crucial to its operations and potential to re-emerge from bankruptcy successfully. Crypto lender argued those employees’ compensation has changed in recent months as their equity depreciated.
“The departure of the Debtors’ key employees during these chapter 11 cases would destroy value, harm the Debtors’ restructuring process, and adversely affect the Debtors’ ability to operate in the ordinary course upon emergence,”Voyager in its request for the funds
This lending platform filed for the authorization earlier this month, a move that Voyager’s organized creditors opposed on August 19. The U.S. Trustee’s Office, a bankruptcy watchdog operating under the auspices of the Department of Justice, also objected to the potential recipients’ names and titles being redacted, suggesting in its own filing that they may not be eligible for this type of bonus.
During that hearing, Voyager counsel confirmed no senior management positions counted among the employees receiving the retention money.
Crypto lender entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in early July after halting activity on its platform. Since then, it has been winding its way through the process and recently received approval to return $270 million in cash deposits to customers.
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