Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, is in trouble with the authorities again. This time he is facing a new 13-count indictment from the United States prosecutors. The indictment includes charges of bribing Chinese officials with $40 million in cryptocurrency. According to court filings, SBF and other related parties caused the transfer of the funds to benefit one or more Chinese government officials. Allegedly, the bribe was offered to persuade officials to lift the freeze on cryptocurrency accounts at Alameda Research, an affiliate company of FTX, that purportedly held over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency.
The Chinese law enforcement authorities had frozen certain Alameda accounts on “two of China’s largest crypto exchanges” in early 2021.Despite being aware of the freeze on certain Alameda accounts by Chinese law enforcement, SBF made several attempts to unfreeze the accounts, including trying to transfer cryptocurrency to fraudulent accounts, in an effort to bypass China’s freeze orders. After months of failed attempts to unfreeze the accounts, SBF agreed to and directed a multimillion-dollar bribe to seek to unfreeze the accounts, the court filing notes.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, is set to stand trial on October 2, 2023, for criminal charges related to the theft of billions of dollars in FTX customer funds facilitated through Alameda Research. In addition, he is also accused of making large illegal political donations. If found guilty of these charges, Bankman-Fried could face a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.