Samuel Bankman-Fried Charged With Bribing Chinese Officials

( – Samuel Bankman-Fried is back in the news as federal prosecutors announced on March 28th an additional charge for bribing Chinese officials with $40 million dollars so they would unfreeze $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency in FTX and Alameda Research accounts. The 2021 bribe was detailed in a fresh indictment for Bankman-Fried, former head of FTX and Alameda Research.

They allege the bribe was successful and that Bankman-Fried and his associates were able to retrieve the cryptocurrency as a result. That alleged behavior would violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which specifically has provisions against bribes of this sort.

The additional charge brings the total count against him to 13 since his December arrest in the Bahamas. The initial charges were related to defrauding his customers and investors as head of FTX and for using those funds covertly to prop up Alameda Research, another company he controlled. He’s also been hit with financial crimes charges and an elaborate campaign finance scheme that sought to acquire political influence with his ill-gotten gains.

That indictment details multiple millions of dollars Bankman-Fried or one of his close associates gave to various political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. They were careful to cover their tracks and avoid conspicuous donations, using “straw donors” to act as shuttles for the funds.

If convicted, he could be behind bars for a very long time. Will he be convicted and if so, what penalties will he face given his parents are well-connected lawyers with ties to major Democratic politicians?

Father Joseph Bankman helped Elizabeth Warren during her 2016 presidential campaign. Mother Barbara Fried has a history of giving thousands to democratic campaigns and co-founded a super PAC called Mind The Gap in 2018 which analyzed the value purchased by campaign contributions for Democrats who ran for Congress. Both parents will be scrutinized and possibly charged for their role in their son’s criminal conspiracy. The feds have thus far been very accommodating, allowing Bankman-Fried to live at his parents’ California home while his trial proceeds.

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