Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX, who was arrested last week on multiple counts of financial fraud Image: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

How InsightX protected its clients in 2022

InsightX exists to protect the reputation of its clients as they consider entering new partnerships or when they renew existing ones.

Those might be sponsorships, the transfer of a new player, the hiring of an ambassador or the engagement of an influencer.

We achieve this by ensuring a level of research and intelligence which is not matched by any other due diligence provider.

Throughout 2022, we have provided our clients with intelligence and due diligence on potential partners and individuals warning them of major issues which had the potential to damage them either reputationally or financially or both.

At the beginning of the year, that included an examination of the now-collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, for one of our biggest football clients. At the time of our work, Sam Bankman-Fried was being feted as a new Warren Buffett. But we flagged serious question marks about the crypto exchange principals’ lifestyles in the Bahamas, the company’s governance and, most importantly, concerns about where the funds which fuelled FTX and Alameda Research’s growth were coming from. We also warned that the company was particularly at risk from regulatory action.

As the crypto boom approached its peak, clients asked us to report on major names as well as companies most people would never have heard of. We uncovered and flagged major ethical concerns, financial irregularities, poor corporate governance and tax debts. In one case, we uncovered a case of major investment fraud involving the founder of a cryptocurrency firm which had not been reported in the media and which our client was completely unaware of.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, one of our Premier League clients asked us to investigate one of its existing sponsors, concerned about the possibility of hidden Russian ownership. Our investigations uncovered the two ultimate beneficial owners who were, indeed, Russian and we visited the company’s notional headquarters in Cyprus to discover that three out of more than 300 staff were based there. The rest, our team managed to prove, were based in Moscow, St Petersburg and other parts of the Russian Federation.


We investigated an African betting brand for a Bundesliga client, highlighting concerns about tax evasion in its home jurisdiction. We visited the Malta office address it gave as its European base to discover that the building was empty with no staff present.

Our journalists and researchers have uncovered the hand of the Chinese state, flagged historic fraud involving founders, followed money trails to uncover hidden ownership structures masked by shell company incorporations in tax havens and cases of personal insolvency, bankruptcy and civil litigation.

In our governance work, InsightX performed background and eligibility checks on more than 30 executives associated with our client, a major international football federation. We were engaged to carry out due diligence and social media analysis on 35 athletes featured in the products produced by our client, a major games company.

And a major soft drinks manufacturer engaged us to assess the likely reaction to it sponsoring a major sporting event as well as to analyse and report on three of the individuals it currently sponsors.

So far in 2022, we have produced more than 100 detailed reports on companies, individuals and organisations. Our work continues right up to the New Year as the January transfer window opens and major rights holders look to sign new sponsors and form new partnerships before the sporting season resumes on Boxing Day.