Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Sam Bankman-Fried of bribing Chinese government officials to unfreeze Alameda accounts.
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US prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, charging the founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange with conspiring to violate anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused Bankman-Fried of directing the transfer of at least $40 million of cryptocurrency to benefit Chinese government officials.
They said Bankman-Fried directed the bribe in order to unfreeze accounts belonging to his hedge fund, Alameda Research, that Chinese authorities had frozen. The accounts held more than $1 billion of cryptocurrency, US prosecutors said.
The accounts were unfrozen after the bribe payment was transferred around November 2021 from Alameda’s main trading account to a private cryptocurrency wallet, according to the new indictment.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Indian-origin engineer Nishad Singh, who was the co-lead engineer for FTX, and he decided to plead guilty to commodities fraud and other charges.
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That’s not a bribe. That’s extortion on China’s part. Someone there held those accounts ransom knowing SBF would probably pay.