• United States prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried of paying Chinese officials a $40 million bribe to unfreeze FTX’s accounts.
• The bribery conspiracy charge adds to a 13-count indictment against the former CEO of the now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX.
• Judge Kaplan on Tuesday also approved amendments to SBF’s bail restrictions.
U.S Prosecutors Accuse Sam Bankman-Fried of Bribing Chinese Officials
U.S prosecutors have added another charge to Sam Bankman-Fried’s growing list of indictments – paying a $40 million bribe to Chinese officials to unfreeze his hedge fund’s accounts. United States prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried of paying Chinese officials a $40 million bribe to unfreeze FTX’s accounts, adding a bribery conspiracy charge to a 13-count indictment against the former CEO of the now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX.
The indictment reads: In or about November 2021, Samuel Bankman-Fried, a/k/a ‚SBF,‘ the defendant, and others directed and caused the transfer of at least approximately $40 million in cryptocurrency intended for the benefit of one or more Chinese officials in order to influence and induce them to unfreeze the Accounts. Reuters explains Alameda accounts were frozen as part of an investigation into an Alameda counterparty, adding that SBF’s prior attempts to influence Chinese government officials were unsuccessful.
Plea Expected from SBF
Reuters reports Bankman-Fried is expected to be arraigned on Thursday before U.S District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a Manhattan federal court, with sources indicating that SBF intends to plead not guilty when facing charges.
Judge Approves Changes To SBFs Bail Restrictions
Judge Kaplan on Tuesday also approved amendments made to SBFs bail restrictions – CoinDesk reports that he is no longer allowed communication with any former FTX or Alameda Research employees except when counsel is present, nor is he able use any „encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application“ such as Signal, limiting his electronic use to only 40 preapproved websites necessary for defence or personal use „and do not pose risk danger community“. He has been ordered hand over old laptop and smartphone legal counsel who will remove them from premises; any visitor meetings must prearranged defence attorneys who must ensure security personnel are present screen for unauthorised devices entering building during meetings