Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan courthouse on February 16. Spencer Platt (Getty Images)
The court for the southern district of Manhattan has filed a new indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried on Tuesday, in which he accuses the founder of the cryptocurrency platform FTX, which went bankrupt in November, of attempted bribery by offering 40 million dollars to one or various Chinese government officials.
The indictment considers that through this payment Bankman-Fried wanted the Chinese authorities to unlock accounts belonging to his hedge fund, Alameda Research, which had been frozen.
The accounts contained more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency, according to federal prosecutors.
The bribery charge is added to the 12 charges filed so far.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to eight of them, while he has yet to be prosecuted for the other four.
The indictment filed Tuesday adds one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The alleged bribes relate to Alameda Research, which is linked to FTX, Bankman-Fried's global cryptocurrency exchange platform.
The indictment says that Chinese law enforcement authorities in early 2021 froze certain of Alameda's cryptocurrency trading accounts on two of China's largest exchanges.
Bankman-Fried understood that they had been frozen by the Chinese authorities as part of an ongoing investigation of a private Alameda business counterparty.
After trying to unfreeze the accounts through the use of lawyers and lobbying, the financier opted for a multimillion-dollar bribe to try to unfreeze them, according to the indictment.
no electronic devices
The new indictment by federal prosecutors comes hours after the young man's lawyers announced an agreement with prosecutors on bail conditions to keep him on probation.
Under the proposed new terms, Bankman-Fried will be allowed to use a mobile phone for calls and text messages only, but without an Internet connection, as well as a basic laptop with limited functions, while being prohibited from using other electronic devices.
The laptop will be installed with a monitoring program to track user activity.
Bankman-Fried's parents agreed to restrict his access to the devices, as well as to eliminate under sworn statement all existing ones at his home, where the young man has to remain awaiting trial according to the specifications established after being charged.
Bankman-Fried, 31, will sit in the dock on October 2 in New York for allegedly stealing billions of dollars in funds from FTX clients to cover losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund, as well as making illegal donations. to buy favors and influence in Washington.
The transfer of funds between FTX and Alameda led to the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency firm, which until then had experienced dizzying growth in the market.
Following his extradition in December from the Bahamas, where FTX was based, the former cryptocurrency wunderkind was placed under house arrest at his parents' home in Palo Alto, California after posting $250 million bail.
But his attempt to contact current FTX managers in January tightened surveillance on him.
Prosecutors expressed concern about the alleged witness tampering and decided to increase restrictions on their use of electronic devices.
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