Sam Bankman-Fried Allegedly Bribed a Chinese Official

    Sam Bankman-Fried Allegedly Bribed a Chinese Official
    Last updated Mar 28, 2023
    Image credit: AFP/Getty Images [via TechCrunch]


    • Already facing several federal indictments, founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and hedge fund Alameda Research Sam Bankman-Fried has been charged with successfully bribing one PRC government official with a $40M payment in 2021.[1]
    • Federal prosecutors say that "in or about 2021," the purpose of the bribe was to "influence and induce one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze certain Alameda trading accounts containing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency."[2]
    • According to the US Attorney's office in Manhattan, the bribe was successful as Bankman-Fried and his cohort gained access to the accounts. For that, he faces a charge of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.[3]
    • The former billionaire CEO now faces his 13th criminal charge for illicit business practices following the collapse of his crypto empire, up from the eight charges he faced upon his December arrest.[4]
    • News of the indictment came one day after the US government took action against Binance founder Changpeng Zhao. Zhao and several other corporate crypto leaders are being sued by the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission.[2]
    • Bankman-Fried, whose other charges include allegedly defrauding investors and customers of his two companies and commingling funds between the two entities, faces life in prison if convicted and receives the maximum sentence.[3]


    Narrative A

    The ever-expanding Sam Bankman-Fried saga represents the ugliness of America's corporate-government. The man who seemingly bought off American politicians has now been found to have potentially bought influence within the PRC government. Though he's currently sitting comfortably in his parents' Palo Alto, California home on a $250M bond, maybe these corrupt leaders will actually punish their former friend.

    Narrative B

    According to the US government's account, Bankman-Fried's corruption was baked into FTX's processes from the very start of its operation. Whether he was dishonest, deluded, or both, the government needs to conduct the most thorough investigation and prosecution of this fallen crypto tycoon.

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