• Federal prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, of attempting to bribe Chinese government officials with $40 million.
• Bankman-Fried is already facing eight criminal counts of fraud and conspiracy and could face more than 155 years in prison if convicted.
• Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved a modification to Bankman-Fried’s bail terms to limit his access to the internet.
Charges Against SBF
Federal prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, of attempting to bribe “one or more” Chinese government officials with $40 million, the goal being to release $1 billion worth of frozen digital assets belonging to his hedge fund, Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried is already facing eight criminal counts of fraud and conspiracy and has not yet been arraigned on five others. He could face more than 155 years in prison if convicted on all counts — the trial has been scheduled for October.
The new indictment against Bankman-Fried, unsealed by the Southern District Court of New York on Tuesday, alleges that Bankman-Fried devised fraudulent schemes to steal deposits from FTX with the aim of financing risky bets at Alameda Research. In addition, SBF contributed to American politicians without proper documentation, all while living in the Bahamas. FTX’s collapse and subsequent bankruptcy left the industry reeling, as it was once one of the largest and most trusted exchanges.
SBF remains under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, with restricted movements. Three of his former business partners, including FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, have already pleaded guilty to their respective charges.
Bail Terms Modification
On Tuesday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved a modification to Bankman-Fried’s bail terms to limit his access to the internet. This move followed concerns about his use of a virtual private network, which masks the location of an internet connection. Bankman-Fried will be allowed to use a VPN only to access a database to help prepare his defense, via a laptop provided by his lawyers accordingto the modification..
The charges brought against SBF are serious; he faces multiple counts ranging from bribery attempts up towards fraud and conspiracy as well as potentially over 155 years in jail if found guilty on all charges; however he is currently under house arrest with limited accesses granted only through vetting procedures set out by Judge Lewis A Kaplan who also modified SBFs bail terms allowing him limited accesses online