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.
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.
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, Crypto.com 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.
Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Sam Bankman-Fried accused of paying a $40 million bribe to a Chinese official