FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is facing new allegations that he conspired to bribe Chinese government officials to release access to over $1 billion in frozen cryptocurrency assets.
The new indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, charges Bankman-Fried with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The updated indictment now contains a total of 13 counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, security fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions.
This is Bankman-Fried’s third indictment since the collapse of FTX, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The new indictment alleges that in 2021, Bankman-Fried bribed one or more Chinese government officials with at least $40 million in cryptocurrency to unfreeze accounts that were locked by China’s law enforcement as it investigated a close ally of FTX, Nishad Singh, who pleaded guilty to fraud, due to his involvement with Bankman-Fried’s crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research, according to The New York Times.
According to the indictment, the frozen accounts were held with two of China’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and had more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency.
The latest indictment alleges that Bankman-Fried directed Alameda Research employees to pay a bribe to Chinese officials after unsuccessfully trying to access the accounts.
The indictment alleges that the frozen accounts were unlocked after the first payment was made, and Bankman-Fried later authorized further payments in the tens of millions of dollars to complete the illegal transaction, adding further that Alameda later used the unfrozen cryptocurrency to make more trades.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Bankman-Fried was President Biden’s second-largest campaign contributor. Bankman-Fried also gave money to Republicans but kept the contributions private.
“All my Republican donations were dark,” Bankman-Fried told Youtuber Tiffany Fong in November.
“The reason was not for regulatory reasons. It’s because reporters freak the f—k out if you donate to Republicans. They’re all super liberal, and I didn’t want to have that fight,” he claimed.
Bankman-Fried’s trial will begin in October, and three of his associates have pleaded guilty to fraud and are cooperating with prosecutors, according to Ars Technica.
Two of Bankman-Fried’s associates said in plea hearings that they worked with the FTX founder to mislead FTX investors and lenders to Alameda Research, according to the WSJ.
In December, Bankman-Fried was charged with stealing billions of dollars of FTX customer funds and misleading investors and lenders. He pleaded not guilty and posted bail of $250 million, which prosecutors say was the largest ever pre-trial bond, according to CNBC.
In February, a second indictment was filed with new allegations of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, per the WSJ.
The staff associated with FTX was like a clown show.
Like little kids playing with other people’s money.