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Former FTX Head Sam Bankman-Fried Charged With Bribery

Sam Bankman-Fried, who previously led bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has been charged with bribing Chinese officials.

The new charges come on top of multiple counts of fraud and U.S. securities violations that have been levelled against Bankman-Fried in the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy filing last fall.

In the new charges, Bankman-Fried is accused of paying $40 million U.S. to Chinese officials to get them to unfreeze accounts at Alameda Research, a Hong Kong-based trading firm affiliated with FTX that was holding more than $1 billion U.S. in various cryptocurrencies.

Prosecutors accuse Bankman-Fried of trying to regain access to the assets held in Alameda accounts in 2021 to fund additional trading activities at the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

Bankman-Fried now faces a total of 13 criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to allegedly funneling billions of dollars from FTX to Alameda and using customer deposits for his personal expenses.

Three of Bankman-Fried’s former associates, Gary Wang, Caroline Ellison and Nishad Singh, have already pleaded guilty to fraud and are cooperating with U.S. prosecutors.

Bankman-Fried is currently free on a $250 million U.S. bond and his trial is scheduled to start in New York City this October.

The FTX crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy on November 11 last year, citing $8 billion U.S. in losses and more than one million creditors.