FTX’s Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to $40M Chinese Bribery Charge

Thursday, 30/03/2023 | 19:57 GMT by Solomon Oladipupo
  • The FTX Founder also pleaded not guilty to campaign law violations.
  • Three of Bankman-Fried's top associates have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried

On Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled Founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, pleaded not guilty to new charges from US prosecutors, including bribing Chinese officials with $40 million. Additionally, the 31-year-old crypto entrepreneur pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance regulations through unlawful political donations.

Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Campaign Law Violation

On Tuesday, US prosecutors expanded the 12 counts of charges against Bankman-Fried to 13, alleging the former CEO of FTX in 2021 transferred approximately $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze trading accounts belonging to his hedge fund Alameda Research. The accounts were said to contain $1 billion in cryptocurrency. Prosecutors as a result charged Bankman-Fried with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

However, Bankman-Fried on Thursday entered the not-guilty plea through his lawyer Mark Cohen at a hearing held in a Manhattan federal court and presided over by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Reuters reported. The former crypto billionaire’s formal trial has been set for October 2nd.

Finance Magnates reported that Bankman-Fried in January pleaded not guilty to eight counts of charges. Moreover, he has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire, bank and securities frauds, to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and commit money laundering.

Meanwhile, three top members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are cooperating with prosecutors. These include Caroline Ellison, the former Alameda Research CEO; Zixiao ‘Gary’ Wang, FTX's Co-Founder; and Nishad Singh, FTX’s ex-Director of Engineering.

Bankman-Fried and the Fall of FTX

FTX, once the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchange in the world, crumbled last November following a withdrawal frenzy and liquidation crisis spurred on by the revelation that Bankman-Fried took billions of dollars of FTX customer funds to prop up Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried was accused of causing over $8 billion in losses for FTX investors. However, the digital asset exchange Founder denied stealing customer funds and blamed the collapse of FTX on plunges in the cryptocurrency market.

The FTX Co-Founder was arrested in December 2022 in the Bahamas and was extradited to the United States. Later, he would be granted bail on a hefty $250 million personal recognizance bond co-signed by his parents who are both Law professors at Stanford University.

On Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled Founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, pleaded not guilty to new charges from US prosecutors, including bribing Chinese officials with $40 million. Additionally, the 31-year-old crypto entrepreneur pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance regulations through unlawful political donations.

Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Campaign Law Violation

On Tuesday, US prosecutors expanded the 12 counts of charges against Bankman-Fried to 13, alleging the former CEO of FTX in 2021 transferred approximately $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze trading accounts belonging to his hedge fund Alameda Research. The accounts were said to contain $1 billion in cryptocurrency. Prosecutors as a result charged Bankman-Fried with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

However, Bankman-Fried on Thursday entered the not-guilty plea through his lawyer Mark Cohen at a hearing held in a Manhattan federal court and presided over by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Reuters reported. The former crypto billionaire’s formal trial has been set for October 2nd.

Finance Magnates reported that Bankman-Fried in January pleaded not guilty to eight counts of charges. Moreover, he has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire, bank and securities frauds, to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and commit money laundering.

Meanwhile, three top members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and are cooperating with prosecutors. These include Caroline Ellison, the former Alameda Research CEO; Zixiao ‘Gary’ Wang, FTX's Co-Founder; and Nishad Singh, FTX’s ex-Director of Engineering.

Bankman-Fried and the Fall of FTX

FTX, once the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchange in the world, crumbled last November following a withdrawal frenzy and liquidation crisis spurred on by the revelation that Bankman-Fried took billions of dollars of FTX customer funds to prop up Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried was accused of causing over $8 billion in losses for FTX investors. However, the digital asset exchange Founder denied stealing customer funds and blamed the collapse of FTX on plunges in the cryptocurrency market.

The FTX Co-Founder was arrested in December 2022 in the Bahamas and was extradited to the United States. Later, he would be granted bail on a hefty $250 million personal recognizance bond co-signed by his parents who are both Law professors at Stanford University.

About the Author: Solomon Oladipupo
Solomon Oladipupo
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About the Author: Solomon Oladipupo
Solomon Oladipupo is a journalist and editor from Nigeria that covers the tech, FX, fintech and cryptocurrency industries. He is a former assistant editor at AgroNigeria Magazine where he covered the agribusiness industry. Solomon holds a first-class degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Lagos where he graduated top of his class.
  • 1050 Articles
  • 35 Followers

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