Sun | Dec 3, 2023

FTX founder Bankman-Fried charged with paying $40M bribe

Published:Tuesday | March 28, 2023 | 4:03 PM
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan federal court in New York, February 16, 2023. On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried is accused in new indictment of paying $40 million bribe to unlock frozen crypto in China. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was charged with directing $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze assets relating to his cryptocurrency business in a newly rewritten indictment unsealed Tuesday.

The charge of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act raises to 13 the number of charges Bankman-Fried faces after he was arrested in the Bahamas in December and brought to the United States soon afterward. The indictment was returned on Monday.

The charge also contains language revealing that a fifth arrest was imminent in what US Attorney Damian Williams has repeatedly described as a continuing investigation.

That unidentified individual, according to the indictment, participated in the bribery conspiracy with Bankman-Fried and “will be arrested in the Southern District of New York.”

FTX filed for bankruptcy on November11, when it ran out of money after the equivalent of a bank run on the global cryptocurrency exchange.

He has remained free on a $250 million personal recognisance bond that lets him stay with his parents in Palo Alto, California.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he cheated investors out of billions of dollars before his business collapsed.

An arraignment on the rewritten indictment was set for Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. He also on Tuesday banned Bankman-Fried from communicating with current or ex-employees of FTX or Alameda Research, its affiliated cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm.

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