Sam Bankman-Fried Charged with Bribery of $40 Million

Lois Zaytsaw
Lois Zaytsaw Crypto
3 Min Read

A newly released indictment on Tuesday accused Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, of paying out a massive $40 million to Chinese officials to unfreeze assets related to his cryptocurrency enterprise. After his apprehension in the Bahamas last December and subsequent transfer to the United States, Bankman-Fried now faces a combined 13 charges – including one of conspiracy to breach anti-bribery regulations stated in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Case Has Been Going For A Time

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, filed for bankruptcy on November 11 after facing a crisis similar to a bank run, leading to a lack of funds. The founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been released on a personal recognizance bond of $250 million that allows him to reside with his parents in California. He has pleaded not guilty to accusations of defrauding investors of billions of dollars before the exchange’s downfall. Meanwhile, Carolyn Ellison and Gary Wang, who were part of FTX’s operations, have already pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges.

sam bankman fried charged with bribery of 40 million 2

He Tried To Bribe Chinese Officials $40 Million To Save His Held Assets In China

The assumed bribes were associated with Alameda Research – linked to FTX and Bankman-Fried’s global digital currency trading platform, as evidenced by court records. In early 2021, according to the indictment, Chinese law enforcement authorities froze various accounts on two of China’s premier cryptocurrency exchanges that were estimated to possess crypto valued at around one billion dollars.

Despite Sam Bankman-Fried‘s endeavors to free the blocked accounts through legal and political methods, they proved unfruitful. Finally conceding, the 31-year-old offered a multitude of millions in bribes to release his assets – per the indictment.

According to court documents, Bankman-Fried and his associates worked tirelessly to reinstate access to the funds to finance additional Alameda trades to aid both Bankman-Fried and Alameda’s business growth.

In November 2021, Alameda moved around $40 million in cryptocurrency bribes to a private wallet and unfroze their accounts simultaneously. This information is detailed in the indictment records.

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Lois Zaytsaw
By Lois Zaytsaw Content Editor, Financial Writer
Meet Lois, a dynamic Crypto, Blockchain, and Finance Writer/Journalist based in the bustling metropolis of New York City. With a passion for technology and a keen understanding of finance, Lois has been covering the latest developments in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain for several years. Her insightful articles have been featured in numerous leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CryptoBriefing. Lois' fascination with blockchain and cryptocurrency began during her time as a student at university, where she studied economics and computer science. She was drawn to the disruptive potential of blockchain technology to revolutionize the traditional financial industry, and since then, she has been following the latest trends and innovations in the space.
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