Sam Bankman-Fried is in trouble again. US judges have filed new charges against the FTX founder, adding a thirteenth count over an alleged bribe paid to Chinese officials. The indictment would see Bankman-Fried authorize and direct a bribe of at least $40 million to one or more Chinese officials, with the aim of influencing them to unfreeze accounts belonging to Alameda Research.
The collapse of FTX, to date, exposed SBF's plans to redirect CEX client funds to Alameda for its own business purposes, and subsequently all attempts to influence policy through lobbying efforts were also exposed. and donations.
And as it turns out, these weren't limited to the United States and the Bahamas.
The fact would have occurred around 2021, the same period in which China introduced the ban on cryptocurrencies. Alameda Research, founded in 2017, saw its operations relocate to Hong Kong in early 2019, before moving to the Bahamas in late 2021.
Now, therefore, Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, has been accused by the US Justice Department of bribing Chinese officials to the tune of $40 million. The judges would say that in early 2021 Chinese law enforcement froze some of Alameda's business accounts at two of the country's largest banks, with these then holding around $1 billion in cryptocurrencies.
The freezing of the accounts was apparently related to an ongoing investigation into an Alameda counterparty, and SBF allegedly devised several methods to release the funds and regain access to the accounts, including hiring of lawyers to put pressure on the government and establish direct contacts with the banks in question.
After months of failed attempts, Sam Bankman-Fried then decided to go all out with a multi-million dollar bribe, authorizing illicit crypto transfers to at least one Chinese official. Operation, if so, successful, given that the accounts were finally unlocked together with further money transfers for the success of the operation.