FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried paid a bribe of USD 40 million to a Chinese government official to get access to those accounts which are allegedly frozen by Beijing, a federal prosecutor alleged on Tuesday, according to New York Post reported.
The details of his 2021 bribe were included in a new indictment against Bankman-Fried, filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. “Samuel Bankman-Fried aka ‘SBF’ authorized and directed a bribe of at least USD 40 million to one or more Chinese government officials,” the indictment states.
“The purpose of the bribe was to influence and induce one or more Chinese government officials to unfreeze certain Alameda trading accounts containing over USD 1 billion in cryptocurrency, which had been frozen by Chinese authorities,” it adds.
The feds allege the shaggy-haired accused fraudster sought to unlock USD 1 billion in cryptocurrency in accounts that had been seized by the authoritarian state, reported New York Post.
The bribe was successful and Bankman-Fried and his cohort gained access to the accounts, a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office said.
The FTX founder’s trial is scheduled for October, according to WSJ.
Bankman-Fried in December was arrested and extradited from the Bahamas on fraud and conspiracy charges related to the implosion of FTX. Last week, prosecutors unveiled a new indictment charging him with additional crimes. Prosecutors said that
Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars of FTX customer funds, in addition to misleading investors and lenders.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty and denied committing fraud and stealing customer funds, according to WSJ.
Earlier, he was arrested in December and even the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) has taken custody of FTX deposits valued at more than USD 3.5 billion as of November 12, according to a statement from SCB.
Earlier, in January, Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud and securities fraud charges over the collapse of his trading platform, The Hill reported.
Prosecutors alleged that Fried was illegally using his customer’s money to purchase real estate, political donations and investments at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.