Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been accused of bribing Chinese government officials when attempting to unfreeze certain Alameda accounts.
In a superseding indictment shared on Tuesday, U.S. prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried bribed one or more Chinese officials with a $40 million cryptocurrency payment in November 2021.
The bribe was arranged after the Chinese law enforcement froze some Alameda crypto trading accounts on two of the largest exchanges in the country. The accounts, which collectively held $1 billion worth of crypto, were frozen as part of an investigation into an Alameda counterparty.
After several unsuccessful attempts to unfreeze the accounts, Bankman-Fried directed Alameda employees to execute a portion of the bribe payment. After the accounts were unfrozen, Bankman-Fried authorized the transfer of additional tens of millions of dollars to complete the bribe, the prosecutors said.
The new bribery charge disclosed in Tuesday’s unsealed indictment takes the total number of charges against Bankman-Fried to a total of 13, of which he is yet to be arraigned on five.
“The Government therefore requests a pretrial conference in order to arraign the defendant on the S5 Indictment and to resolve the outstanding issues pertaining to the defendant’s conditions of release,” said a grand jury in a letter to the federal district court judge.
Bankman-Fried also had a new set of bail restrictions imposed on Tuesday, largely focused on his use of electronic devices and encrypted messaging services.
His internet access will be limited to pre-approved websites on a new laptop that will be assigned to him. The laptop will be loaded with security software that blocks access to USB storage devices and all user activity will be logged through monitoring software by Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel.