Bankman-Fried Charged With Bribing Chinese Government Officials

By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 28, 2023

Federal prosecutors today charged FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for allegedly paying $40 million in bribes to Chinese government officials to unfreeze the cryptocurrency trading accounts of his hedge fund in the country.

The 31-year-old former billionaire now faces 13 criminal counts linked to his alleged misappropriation of FTX customer deposits to prop up his Alameda Research hedge fund.

The government alleges that in 2021, Chinese law enforcement froze multiple Alameda trading accounts on two of the country’s largest crypto exchanges as part of an investigation into a “particular Alameda trading counterparty.”

Prosecutors say that after multiple attempts to unfreeze the accounts — which collectively contained roughly $1 billion worth of digital assets — Bankman-Fried directed Alameda employees to pay Chinese government officials a $40 million crypto-based bribe.

“At or around the time of the $40 million bribe payment, the accounts were unfrozen,” the indictment reads. “After the accounts were unfrozen, at the direction of Samuel Bankman-Fried, a/k/a ‘SBF,’ the defendant, Alameda used the unfrozen cryptocurrency to fund additional Alameda trading activity.”

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to appear in court Thursday to be arraigned on the FCPA charge and four other fraud counts that were added to the original indictment in February. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

By Peter Page Peter Page has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Peter Page is an Editor-at-Large at Grit Daily. He is available to record live, old-school style interviews via Zoom, and run them at Grit Daily and Apple News, or BlockTelegraph for a fee.Formerly at, he began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter long before print journalism had even heard of the internet, much less realized it would demolish the industry. The years he worked as a police reporter are a big influence on his world view to this day. Page has some degree of expertise in environmental policy, the energy economy, ecosystem dynamics, the anthropology of urban gangs, the workings of civil and criminal courts, politics, the machinations of government, and the art of crystallizing thought in writing.

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