Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced CEO of FTX and Democrat megadonor, paid more than $40 million in bribes at least one Chinese official, as the Department of Justice (DOJ), alleged in a fresh indictment.
According to a CNBC report, federal prosecutors have stated that Bankman-Fried, along with his associates, “directed and caused” the transfer of at least $40m in cryptocurrency “intended to the benefit one or more Chinese officials in order to induce them” to defreeze accounts belonging to Alameda Research, the FTX cofounder.
According to the DOJ, the freezing order was issued by Chinese police against the Alameda Research accounts “in or around November 2021.”
According to the new indictment, Bankman-Fried and others also tried “numerous means” to free the accounts that contained approximately $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency.
After they failed to succeed, the disgraced founder of FTX allegedly paid a multimillion-dollar bribe in order to unlock the accounts. Alameda Research continued funding its losses-generating trades with the assets once the accounts had been unlocked.
Alameda Research and FTX both collapsed in November 2022. Alameda Research and Bankman-Fried informed investors that the cryptocurrency exchange was in serious financial trouble. The withdrawal requests had risen to as high as $8 billion and they needed urgent funding. Shortly thereafter, FTX filed bankruptcy and Alameda Research was shut down.
Bankman-Fried was indicted for eight criminal charges, including money laundering and securities fraud, in December. The disgraced founder of FTX was also charged with making illegal political contributions and commodities fraud.
The 30-year-old plead not guilty to charges in Manhattan federal court on January 2.
According to Tuesday’s latest indictment, the federal government appears to have obtained additional evidence regarding Bankman-Fried’s international dealings.
CNBC reported that the charges were brought against Binance, a crypto exchange, one day after regulators made allegations about Binance’s terrorist financing and violation of U.S. derivatives laws.
Bankman-Fried is facing his charges. However, the bankruptcy proceedings involving his collapsed FTX business are continuing.