In a new indictment unsealed on Tuesday, officials accused Sam-Bankman Fried of bribing Chinese officials to release frozen assets.
Federal prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, of attempting to bribe “one or more” Chinese government officials with $40 million, the goal being to release $1 billion in frozen digital assets belonging to its hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried already faces eight counts of fraud and conspiracy and has yet to be indicted on five more. He could face more than 155 years in prison if convicted on all counts – trial is scheduled for October.
New charge against Bankman-Fried, unsealed in court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, alleges that Bankman-Fried devised fraudulent schemes to steal deposits from FTX in order to fund risky bets at Alameda Research. Additionally, SBF contributed to American politicians without proper documentation, while living in the Bahamas. FTX’s collapse and subsequent bankruptcy left the industry reeling as it was once one of the largest and most trusted exchanges.
SBF remains under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, Calif., with travel restricted. Three of his former business partners, including FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, have already pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
On Tuesday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved a change to Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions to limit his internet access. This movement followed concerns about its use of a virtual private network, which hides the location of an Internet connection. Bankman-Fried will only be allowed to use a VPN to access a database to help him prepare his defense, via a laptop provided by his lawyers according to the amendment.