FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried indictment continues to grow. Now, he has bribery charges added to his indictment. He allegedly directed $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze assets in his cryptocurrency business.
It falls under the conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act increasing his charges to 13 criminal charges after his arrest in the Bahamas in December.
The alleged bribes stemmed from the operation of Alameda Research. The indictment said Chinese law enforcement authorities in early 2021 froze certain Alameda cryptocurrency trading accounts containing about $1 billion in cryptocurrency on two of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to the indictment, a fifth arrest is imminent. That unnamed person allegedly participated in the bribery with Bankman-Fried and “will be arrested in the Southern District of New York,” states the prosecutor’s office.
Bankman-Fried has remained free on a $250 million personal recognizance bond and is living at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he cheated investors out of billions of dollars before his business collapsed.
An arraignment on the rewritten indictment is scheduled for Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.
Also, on Tuesday, the judge banned Bankman-Fried from communicating with current or ex-employees of FTX or Alameda Research The order limits Bankman-Fried to one laptop and phone and bans him from encrypted communications or other cellphones, computers, or “smart” devices with internet access.
Carolyn Ellison, Alameda’s former chief executive has already been charged in this investigation along with two former FTX executives who have pleaded guilty in cooperation deals with the government.
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