Sam Bankman-Fried Allegedly Paid $40 Million To Bribe A Chinese Official

By Bill Galluccio

March 28, 2023

Bail Hearing Held For FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried
Photo: Getty Images

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and CEO of failed cryptocurrency company FTX, is facing new allegations of bribery. Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York unsealed a superseding indictment that accuses Bankman-Fried of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried paid $40 million to a Chinese official to help unfreeze his accounts with two of China's largest crypto exchanges in 2021.

"After the accounts were frozen, Samuel Bankman-Fried, the defendant, and others operating at his direction, considered and tried numerous methods to unfreeze the accounts," the indictment said. "After months of failed attempts to unfreeze the accounts, Samuel Bankman-Fried, the defendant, discussed with others and ultimately agreed to and directed a multi-million dollar bribe to seek to unfreeze the accounts."

After Bankman-Fried made the payment, his accounts were unfrozen, giving him access to roughly $1 billion in funds.

After the latest charges were made public, Bankman-Fried is now facing 13 counts relating to the collapse of FTX.

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