FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried charged with bribing Chinese officials | Business News

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been charged with bribing Chinese officials with payments of at least $40m (£32.4m).

Prosecutors have accused him of directing the payment to unfreeze accounts belonging to his hedge fund linked to FTX.

The accounts of his trading firm Alameda Research, which Chinese authorities had frozen, are said to have held more than $1bn (£812m) in cryptocurrency.

Prosecutors claimed they were unfrozen after the alleged bribe payment was made around November 2021.

Bankman-Fried is accused of transferring tens of millions of dollars worth of extra crypto to complete the bribe.

The 31-year-old has already pleaded not guilty to eight counts over the collapse of FTX last year.

It ran out of money on 11 November after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.

Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in customer funds to plug losses in Alameda.

He faces a total of 13 charges.

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December: Bankman-Fried leaves court on $250m bail

They include four counts which accuse him of orchestrating an illegal campaign donation scheme to buy influence in Washington DC.

A spokesman for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on the latest charges.

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He is due in court in Thursday in New York.

The fallen tycoon has resided with his parents in Palo Alto, California, since December, but under strict restrictions governing communication as part of his $250m bail package.

His lawyers have agreed to limit him to a laptop and a phone and block him from using any other phones, tablets, computers, video games or “smart” devices with internet access.

That, however, excludes other electronic devices owned by his lawyers that he might need to prepare for trial.

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