Sam Bankman-Fried faces a new criminal charge. The founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX allegedly paid more than $40 million in bribes to at least one Chinese official to unfreeze the accounts of his investment fund Alameda Research.
This brings the number of criminal charges against the 31-year-old to 13. A spokesman for Bankman-Fried declined to comment, Reuters reported.
Sam Bankman-Fried was alleged to have given the bribe
According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried allegedly ordered a $40 million cryptocurrency transfer to at least one Chinese government official. The situation was supposed to take place in 2021, when Alameda Research’s accounts – which had $ 1 billion in cryptocurrencies – were frozen.
The accounts were frozen as part of an investigation into one of Alameda’s contractors. Earlier efforts by the 31-year-old to persuade Chinese officials to change their minds had failed.
According to the prosecution’s findings, Bankman-Fried authorized the transfer of tens of millions of dollars around November 2021 to finalize the bribe. According to the investigators’ findings, the accounts were unfrozen after the transfer was made to a private cryptocurrency wallet.
Bankman-Fried awaits trial
Reuters recalled that the 31-year-old pleaded not guilty to eight of the 13 charges he has been charged so far. He admitted to inadequate risk management at FTX, but denied stealing money. Three of his closest associates have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with investigators.
Sam Bankman-Fried was released in December after posting bail of $250 million. The BBC reported that Bankman-Fried was under house arrest at his parents’ home in California, awaiting trial. As added, the man faces more than 100 years in prison.
Main photo source: JUSTIN LANE/EPA/PAP