The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that it had established an FTX Task Force to handle investigations and charges pertaining to the company and other entities as well as to locate and recover the assets of victims of the cryptocurrency exchange firm's collapse.

"The Southern District of New York is working around the clock to respond to the implosion of FTX," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

"We are launching the SDNY FTX Task Force to ensure that this urgent work continues, powered by all of SDNY's resources and expertise, until justice is done," he added.

The news came as FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in Manhattan's US District Court to enter a not guilty plea in his criminal case, in which he is accused of multiple counts of financial fraud and campaign finance offenses.

Bankman-Fried is currently free but under house arrest at his parents' home on a bail of $250 million, which was established when he was extradited from the Bahamas late last month.

Before he was extradited, two of his lieutenants pled guilty to numerous charges of fraud in Manhattan federal court: Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang.

Ellison and Wang are both collaborating in the Bankman-Fried and related FTX investigations.

The task force, which will include attorneys from the Securities and Commodities Fraud, Public Corruption, Money Laundering, and Transnational Criminal Enterprises departments, is being led by Andrea Griswold, Williams' senior deputy.

Customers reportedly lost more than $8 billion as a result of fraud at FTX Alameda Research, according to estimates by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bankman-Fried left his position as CEO and FTX and its affiliates declared bankruptcy in November. A run on assets resembling a bank run led to the stunning implosion of the cryptocurrency trading company.

A highly concentrated stake in self-issued FTT coins, which Bankman-Fried's hedge fund Alameda Research used as collateral for billions in cryptocurrency loans, was uncovered by CoinDesk, which led to FTX's collapse.

Binance, a competing exchange, declared it will sell its stake in FTT, causing a large outflow of capital. After freezing assets, the company declared bankruptcy a few days later. Later reports alleged that FTX had mixed client funds with Alameda Research, and that billions of dollars in consumer deposits had been destroyed in the process.

Bankman-Fried was succeeded by John J. Ray III, who stated that FTX embarked on a "spending binge" from late 2021 to 2022, spending around $5 billion on a variety of businesses and investments.