The rise of cryptocurrency has brought new players to the financial world, some of whom have engaged in fraudulent activities. FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2019, was recently embroiled in scandal and bankruptcy.
Now, one of FTX’s co-founders and former Director of Engineering, Nishad Singh, has pleaded guilty to several federal charges, including wire fraud.
Singh was a member of a Signal chat group called “wirefraud,” alongside other executives who were also accused of fraudulent activities. Singh expressed regret for his involvement in the FTX scandal, apologizing for the harm he had caused.
Singh is the last of the “wirefraud” group to plead guilty, with the exception of FTX’s former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, who is currently under house arrest and waiting for a criminal trial. According to reports, Singh may have to testify against Bankman-Fried, who is the only one fighting the charges.
Singh and Bankman-Fried have been friends for years, dating back to their grade school days. Singh joined Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund founded by Bankman-Fried, after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with top honors. Singh then helped Bankman-Fried launch FTX, which quickly became embroiled in controversy and eventually filed for bankruptcy.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit claiming that Singh wrote the code that allowed Bankman-Fried to divert FTX customer funds to Alameda and that Singh was aware of the misappropriation of customer funds.
This revelation shocked many FTX employees who believed that Singh was one of the “nice guys” in the company. However, as The Wall Street Journal notes, Bankman-Fried also seemed nice to many of his colleagues.