FTX founder suspected of bribing Chinese officials
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has received another charge of alleged fraud. Prosecutors in New York now also accuse him of bribing Chinese government officials.
Bankman-Fried is suspected of defrauding FTX by funneling client funds to investment fund Alameda Research. FTX and Alameda Research went bankrupt last year after the founder was arrested in the Bahamas.
U.S. prosecutors now allege that in 2021, Bankman-Fried bribed Chinese officials to release the previously frozen Alameda accounts. The FTX founder allegedly ordered the payment of the equivalent of $40 million to one or more employees of the Chinese government. If he did, he would have violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
According to prosecutors, Bankman-Fried and associates made several unsuccessful bribery attempts to regain access to those accounts. Ultimately, at Bankmann-Fried’s insistence, the cryptocurrency was transferred from Alameda’s main account to a private digital currency account. After a while, the disabled accounts were released.
Bankman-Fried previously denied that he was guilty of channeling client funds into FTX. But three former business partners have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with the trial in the United States. Bankman-Fried is also suspected of violating political campaign finance laws.
Former FTX boss is out on bail. The conditions for this have been tightened. For example, from now on he can only work with an adapted laptop with limited internet access. Only a number of pre-authorized websites can be accessed with it. A technical advisor monitors Bankman-Fried’s surfing behavior. There is always a security guard at his door who keeps an eye on the electronic items visitors bring with them.
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