[CNA] U.S. officials allege that the founder of cryptocurrency platform FTX, Bankman Fleet, authorized at least $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials in an attempt to gain access to sister company Alameda Research, which was frozen by Chinese officials, according to an updated indictment today. "Cryptocurrency trading account funds.
Agence France-Presse reported that according to the latest criminal indictment signed by US Attorney Williams (Damian Williams), Chinese officials froze about US$1 billion in cryptocurrency trading accounts controlled by Alameda Research in early 2021. Kerman-Fried (Sam Bankman-Fried) then authorized the bribery of Chinese officials.
The move became Bankman-Fleet's 13th count of "attempting to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."
Please read on...
Bankman-Fleet was also charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, attempted money laundering and campaign finance violations, with prosecutors accusing him of defrauding investors and misusing funds belonging to FTX and Alameda Research clients.
Bankman-Fleet was charged with eight criminal counts, five of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and he pleaded not guilty to eight counts.
The other five charges have not yet been arraigned.
According to Bankman-Fleet's understanding, the Chinese authorities froze the account of "Alameda Research" in order to investigate the counterparty of "Alameda Research".
Bankman-Fleet and associates "tried numerous methods" to regain funds in the accounts, including retaining a team of lawyers and communicating with Chinese exchanges.
According to the indictment, after months of frustration, Bankman-Fleet "finally agreed to and directed a substantial bribe to get the account unfrozen," but the account was not unfrozen.
FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research, went bankrupt last November, ending a virtual trading business once valued at $32 billion by the market.
After its establishment in 2019, FTX has become a leading company in the field of cryptocurrency.
On December 12 last year, at the request of New York federal prosecutors, Bankman Fleet was arrested in the Bahamas, where FTX is headquartered.
He was later placed on $250 million bond and held at his parents' home in California.