Bankman-Fried bribed Chinese officials with $40 million in crypto: prosecutors

Samuel Bankman-Fried departs Manhattan federal court in New York, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried bribed Chinese officials with at least $40 million in cryptocurrency, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment Tuesday. 

Bankman-Fried directed the transfer “in order to influence and induce” Chinese officials to unfreeze his hedge fund accounts that held more than $1 billion in crypto, according to the indictment. 

Prosecutors said that Chinese authorities froze accounts belonging to Alameda Research, an affiliate of FTX, in early 2021. 

“After months of failed attempts to unfreeze the accounts, Samuel Bankman-Fried discussed with others and ultimately agreed to and directed a multi-million-dollar bribe to seek to unfreeze the accounts,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.

Chinese officials went on to unfreeze the accounts and were rewarded with tens of millions of dollars in crypto, prosecutors said. 

It’s the latest charge levied against Bankman-Fried, who faces allegations of fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations related to the collapse of FTX. The popular trading platform went under after Alameda Research suffered massive losses on risky bets.

The new 13-count indictment accuses Bankman-Fried of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery statute. It comes after three top FTX officials pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Bankman-Fried has a well-documented history of shelling out huge sums to gain favor with key decision makers.

The Justice Department alleged last month that Bankman-Fried directed around $100 million in political donations to congressional candidates in both parties through straw donors to conceal the true source and keep Bankman-Fried’s donations to Republicans hidden.

Prior to FTX’s collapse, Bankman-Fried was a hugely influential force on Capitol Hill and helped draft the first comprehensive legislation to regulate the crypto industry.

Tags crypto FTX indictment

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video