Sam Bankman-Fried Has Been Charged With Paying A $40 Million Bribe


Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been charged with bribery by the Department of Justice.

The charges allege that Bankman-Fried authorized a bribe of at least $40 million to one or more Chinese government officials to unfreeze some of the accounts associated with FTX’s sister company, Alameda, which contained over $1 billion in cryptocurrency. This allegedly occurred in November 2021 when Bankman-Fried wanted access to the funds to assist Alameda “in obtaining and retaining business.”

The indictment claims that Bankman-Fried attempted several methods to unfreeze the funds before resorting to a bribe, which ultimately resulted in the funds getting unlocked.

Bankman-Fried’s new bail conditions prohibit him from using a smartphone and only allow him to use a non-internet-enabled phone. He must also turn in his existing laptop, which will be configured to allow access to specific websites only, such as YouTube, Wikipedia, and Netflix. The new restrictions were put in place after Bankman-Fried allegedly attempted to contact his colleagues with Signal while out on bail.

Bankman-Fried was previously charged with money laundering and fraud in December 2021, and federal prosecutors brought four additional charges against him in February 2022, including new bank fraud and money laundering counts and modified campaign finance charges.

The latest indictment against Bankman-Fried marks yet another legal hurdle for the once-prominent crypto founder. The charges against him reflect a growing crackdown on illicit activities in the cryptocurrency world, which has been plagued by scams, frauds, and other criminal activities.

In addition, the bribery allegations also highlight the risks of doing business in countries with less transparent regulatory environments, where bribery and corruption are more prevalent.


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