FTX Charged with Bribing Chinese Officials

Prosecutors accused FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried of conspiring to bribe Chinese government officials to regain access to more than $1 billion in frozen cryptocurrency, in a new indictment that charged him with violating U.S. anti-corruption law.

The indictment, unsealed Tuesday, is the third Mr. Bankman-Fried has faced since the collapse of the crypto exchange. It alleges that in 2021 he authorized bribing one or more Chinese government officials with at least $40 million in cryptocurrency to regain access to accounts that the country’s law enforcement had frozen as part of a continuing investigation into a party that traded with his crypto-investment firm, Alameda Research.

The accounts, held with two of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, contained more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency, according to the indictment.

Mr. Bankman-Fried directed Alameda employees to pay the bribe after months of failed attempts to regain control of the accounts, prosecutors said. The accounts were unfrozen at the time a first illicit payment was made, the indictment alleges. Mr. Bankman-Fried then authorized an additional payment of tens of millions of dollars to complete the bribe, the indictment alleges.

Source: Wall Street Journal