Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, May 30, 2023


FTX’s Bankman-Fried charged with bribery conspiracy in new indictment

NEW YORK (Reuters) -U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried, charging the founder of now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange with conspiring to violate anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused Bankman-Fried of directing the transfer of at least $40 million of cryptocurrency to benefit Chinese government officials.

They said Bankman-Fried directed the bribe in order to unfreeze accounts belonging to his hedge fund, Alameda Research, that Chinese authorities had frozen. The accounts held more than $1 billion of cryptocurrency, U.S. prosecutors said.

The accounts were unfrozen after the bribe payment was transferred around November 2021 from Alameda’s main trading account to a private cryptocurrency wallet, according to the new indictment.

After the accounts were unfrozen, Bankman-Fried authorized a transfer of tens of millions of dollars of additional cryptocurrency to complete the bribe, prosecutors said.

A spokesman for Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan scheduled a court hearing for Thursday after prosecutors asked for Bankman-Fried to be arraigned on the new, 13-count indictment.

The new charge increases the pressure on the 31-year-old former billionaire, who had previously pleaded not guilty to eight counts over the collapse of FTX. Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in customer funds to plug losses Alameda.

Prosecutors last month unveiled four new counts against Bankman-Fried, accusing him of orchestrating an illegal campaign donation scheme to buy influence in Washington, D.C. He has not yet been arraigned on the new charges.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)


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