Sam Bankman-Fried paid over $40 million to bribe at least one Chinese official, DOJ alleges in new indictment

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried paid out tens of millions of dollars worth of bribes to at least one Chinese government official, federal prosecutors alleged in a new indictment Tuesday.

The federal government alleges that accounts belonging to Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, were the target of a freezing order from Chinese police “in or around” Nov. 2021. The indictment also alleges that Bankman-Fried and others “directed and caused the transfer” of at least $40 million in cryptocurrency “intended for the benefit of one or more Chinese government officials in order to influence and induce them” to unfreeze some of these accounts.

Bankman-Fried and his associates considered and tried “numerous methods” to unfreeze the accounts, which contained around $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency, prosecutors allege. Ultimately, after both legal and personal efforts failed, Bankman-Fried agreed and directed a multi-million dollar bribe to unlock the frozen accounts, prosecutors allege.

Source: Sam Bankman-Fried paid over $40 million to bribe at least one Chinese official, DOJ alleges in new indictment