In a recent court filing, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been accused of bribing $40 million to Chinese officials to unfreeze crypto accounts.
As the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow and evolve, so too do the challenges and controversies that surround it. One such controversy involves Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of FTX, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange. SBF has recently been charged with bribing Chinese officials to the tune of $40 million. This scandal has sent shockwaves throughout the industry, raising questions about the ethics and legality of actions taken by some of its most prominent figures.
FTX CEO’s Link with the Chinese Government Officials
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, also known as “SBF,” is now confronting a fresh 13-count indictment from U.S. authorities. As per a court filing by Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney, one of the latest charges against SBF includes an accusation of a $40 million bribe to a Chinese government official in a new superseding indictment.
Section 105 of the filing asserts that SBF and other associated parties orchestrated the transfer of around $40 million in cryptocurrency, which was meant to benefit one or more Chinese government officials. The complaint alleges that the transfer was made with the aim of influencing and inducing the officials to unfreeze cryptocurrency accounts at Alameda Research, an affiliate of FTX. These accounts allegedly held over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency.
As per the filing, in early 2021, Chinese law enforcement authorities froze some Alameda accounts on two of China’s most extensive crypto exchanges. The FTX founder was cognizant of the freeze and made various attempts to unfreeze the accounts, including trying to transfer cryptocurrency to deceitful accounts to bypass China’s freeze orders.
Alameda’s Trading Activity Was Financed by Unfrozen Cryptocurrency
The court filing highlights that following several unsuccessful attempts to unfreeze the accounts, Samuel Bankman-Fried conversed with others and ultimately consented to and instructed a multi-million-dollar bribe in an effort to release the freeze on the accounts. Subsequently, when the accounts were unfrozen under SBF’s direction, Alameda utilized unfrozen cryptocurrency to finance further trading activity, according to the U.S. government’s investigation.
Previously, the former billionaire had pleaded not guilty to eight charges related to the downfall of FTX. According to prosecutors, SBF appropriated billions of dollars in customer funds to cover losses at Alameda Research, his hedge fund that focused on cryptocurrency.
In other news, YouTubers who endorsed FTX were hit with a $1 billion class-action lawsuit earlier this month. In fact, there are multiple lawsuits against FTX and its endorsers as investors attempt to recover their losses.