Former CEO Facing $40M Bribery Charge for Unfreezing Crypto Accounts

Last Updated: 8 January 2024

• 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.

Bribery Allegations

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

Author
  • Florian Feidenfelder

    Florian Feidenfelder is a seasoned cryptocurrency trader and technical analyst with over 10 years of hands-on experience analyzing and investing in digital asset markets. After obtaining his bachelor's degree in Finance from the London School of Economics, he worked for major investment banks like JP Morgan, helping build trading systems and risk models for blockchain assets.

    Florian later founded Crypto Insights, a leading research firm providing actionable intelligence on crypto investments to hedge funds and family offices worldwide. He is the author of the bestseller "Mastering Bitcoin Trading" and has been featured in prominent publications like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Barron's for his insights on blockchain technologies.

    With extensive knowledge spanning the early days of Bitcoin to today's explosive DeFi landscape, Florian lends his real-world expertise to guide both new entrants and seasoned professionals in capitalizing on the wealth-creating potential of crypto trading while effectively managing its inherent volatility risks.

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