FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Charged With Bribery Of Chinese Officials

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According to a Reuters report, new charges have been unveiled against Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of the now-bankrupt FTX exchange. Bankman-Fried, who founded one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has been accused of bribing Chinese officials.

As per the report, a federal grand jury in Manhattan has issued a revised indictment accusing Sam Bankman-Fried of authorizing the transfer of $40 million in cryptocurrency intended for the benefit of one or more Chinese government officials.

Former FTX CEO Hit With Additional Charge By Prosecutors

The alleged bribe was intended to unfreeze accounts belonging to Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, which Chinese authorities had frozen. The accounts reportedly held more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency. 

Per the report, Bankman-Fried transferred the bribe payment around November 2021 from Alameda’s main trading account to a private cryptocurrency wallet. This transfer allegedly enabled the accounts to be unfrozen by the Chinese authorities. 

According to the prosecutors, after the accounts were unfrozen, Bankman-fried is accused of authorizing a transfer of tens of millions of dollars of additional cryptocurrency to complete the bribe. 

No Relief in Sight For Bankman-Fried Amid Legal Woes

According to Reuters, prosecutors have asked Bankman-Fried to be arraigned on a new 13-count indictment, which includes charges of orchestrating an illegal campaign donation scheme and conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). 

The FCPA is a United States law that makes it illegal for US citizens to bribe foreign government officials to win business, to what is accused the co-founder of the FTX exchange. In addition to the FCPA charge, the FTX co-founder also faces several fraud charges for allegedly funneling money from FTX to Alameda.

Additionally, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan has scheduled a court hearing for Thursday to arraign Sam Bankman-Fried on the new charges. Bankman-Fried has not yet been arraigned on these new charges, which were added to the case last month.

As per Reuters, Sam Bankman-Fried is currently on a $250 million bond and is confined to his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California, before his trial, which is set to take place on October 2nd.

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Overall, The accusations and new charges against the co-founder of FTX are likely to have a ripple effect throughout the cryptocurrency industry, leading to increased scrutiny of other big players. US regulators will likely use this case as a precedent to increase regulatory oversight and tighten regulations on the cryptocurrency industry.

Feature Image from Unsplash, char from TradingView.com 

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