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US charges FTX’s Bankman-Fried with paying $40 mln Chinese bribe

FTX,

On Tuesday, US prosecutors filed a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried. In it, they claim that the founder of the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange paid $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials in order to unfreeze the accounts of his hedge fund. Can’s new bribery conspiracy charge puts more pressure on the former 31-year-old billionaire, who is now facing a 13-count indictment for the FTX collapse in November.

Read also: Crypto-Focused Bank Silvergate Plans To Shut Down After Blowback From FTX

On Thursday, Bankman-Fried is expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan regarding the new indictment. A person who is familiar with the situation claims that he intends to enter a not guilty plea.

Bankman-Fried had been accused by prosecutors of stealing billions of dollars from client funds and operating an illegal campaign donation scheme to buy influence in Washington, DC, in order to cushion losses at her hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Bankman-Seared’s lawyers didn’t answer a solicitation for input.

Independently Tuesday, Kaplan supported adjustments to Bankman-Broiled’s $250 million bail bundle intended to keep the respondent from messing with witnesses.

According to the new indictment, Bankman-Fried ordered $40 million in cryptocurrency payments from Alameda’s main trading account to a private wallet to persuade Chinese officials to unfreeze Alameda accounts with more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency.

Read also: What went wrong with Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX? Bill Ekman has a theory

The Alameda accounts were allegedly frozen as part of an investigation into an unidentified Alameda counterparty, and Bankman-Fried’s previous attempts to persuade Chinese authorities to lift the freeze were unsuccessful, according to the prosecution.

Additionally, he claimed that Bankman-Fried authorized the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional cryptocurrency in order to “complete” the bribe around November 2021.

After business hours in Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry was unavailable for comment. A request for clarification was made, but the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond.

Eight of the 13 charges against Bankman-Fried have been dropped, and she has not yet been charged with bribery or campaign finance conspiracy.

He denies stealing money, but he has acknowledged that FTX’s risk management was inadequate.

Former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, former FTX technology chief Zixiao “Gary” Wang, and former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh, all former members of his inner circle, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

crypto crackdown

After the value of bitcoin and other tokens plummeted last year as central banks raised interest rates, the Bankman-Fried case is part of a growing crackdown by US prosecutors and regulators on alleged abuses at digital asset exchanges.

Do Kwon, whose TerraForm Labs developed the TerraUSD and Luna coins that crashed in May, was indicted on fraud charges by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday. He was arrested in Montenegro with alleged fake travel documents. Was.

Also, on Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a lawsuit against Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and Changpeng Zhao, the company’s founder, for making unauthorized transactions. The complaint was described by Zhao as “unexpected and disappointing.”

Coinbase Global Inc.’s products have been the subject of separate lawsuits from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The most recent indictment filed by prosecutors charges Bankman-Fried with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for citizens of the United States to bribe officials of other countries in order to win business.

Prior to her scheduled trial on October 2, Bankman-Fried has been confined to her parents’ Palo Alto, California, residence.

His reexamined bail conditions bar him from utilizing most hardware, aside from a telephone without web capacity and an essential PC with restricted capabilities. Monitoring software will be installed on the laptops to monitor user activity.

Kaplan threatened Bankman-Fried with prison unless more stringent restrictions could be negotiated because he was concerned that Bankman-Fried might tamper with witnesses.

According to Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, their client contacted current FTX executives to offer assistance rather than to interfere, but he still agreed to a ban on using electronic devices.

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