Sam Bankman-Fried accused of paying a $40 million bribe to a Chinese official

Disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is adding bribery to his list of criminal charges.

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At the heart of FTX’s infamous collapse last year was its co-founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. After the crypto exchange filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, several criminal charges were levied against Bankman-Fried for his handling of company assets. These charges included fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. Now, another massive criminal charge has come against Sam Bankman-Fried as he’s being accused of bribing a Chinese government official to the tune of $40 million.

Prosecutors in the case against Sam Bankman-Fried revealed the new charge against the former CEO in an indictment earlier today, as reported by CNBC. The charges allege that Bankman-Fried paid $40 million USD in bribe money to at least one member of the Chinese government. This was allegedly done through Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, which was the subject of a freezing order by the Chinese government in late 2021.

The Alameda Research logo on a white background.

Source: Alameda Research

It’s believed that the bribery was done in hopes of relieving the government pressure on Alameda Research, which held roughly $1 billion in cryptocurrency at the time of the freeze. In the prosecutor’s words, Bankman-Fried’s money transfers were “intended for the benefit of one or more Chinese government officials in order to influence and induce them.”

The bribe was accepted, the freeze on Alameda Research was lifted, and the company continued to operate and facilitate exchanges until it went under alongside FTX about a year later. As the charges against Sam Bankman-Fried continue to mount, the rest of the cryptocurrency industry continues to navigate the reverberating effect of the FTX fallout. In January, laid off 20 percent of its staff due to the ongoing crypto winter. Last month, FTX’s former head of engineering plead guilty to criminal charges. Shacknews will continue to report on the biggest stories in that space.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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