U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday disclosed an indictment against Bankman-Fried accusing him of paying approximately $40 million in a bribe to Chinese officials so they would unfreeze accounts related to his crypto hedge fund Alameda Research. The action is a violation of U.S. anti-bribery law.
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Bankman-Fried already faced a dozen charges from federal prosecutors — including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, individual charges of securities fraud and wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations.
A hearing has been set for Thursday on the new bribery charge.
The story so far
FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in November after it was unable to repay customers who had deposited funds on its exchange.
The exchange is one of the most spectacular failures ever in the venture capital world. FTX was the fourth-largest crypto exchange by volume when it failed, and Bankman-Fried was one of crypto’s biggest evangelists and financial backers. Through FTX Ventures and his other trading firm Alameda Research, the crypto whiz kid made hundreds of bets on the industry and the future of digital finance.
At its peak, FTX and FTX US — its U.S.-based exchange — were valued at $32 billion and $8 billion valuations, respectively.
Just last week, FTX’s new managers said Sam Bankman-Fried and other related executives received $3.2 billion in payments and loans, mainly from Alameda Research. About $2.2 billion of that total went to Bankman-Fried himself.
Bankman-Fried has denied any wrongdoing and is out on bail. His fraud trial is to start in October.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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