Sam Bankman-Fried Paid $40M to Bribe Chinese Officials to Unfreeze Bank Accounts

Fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried allegedly paid Chinese government officials tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies to persuade them to unfreeze accounts belonging to Alameda Research.

A new 13-count indictment filed by the Southern District of New York on Tuesday accuses former FTX founder SBF of directly transferring $40 million to Chinese government officials to “unfreeze certain Alameda trading accounts containing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency.” SBF was attempting to regain access to the funds so Alameda could continue its trading activity and retain business, after Beijing police issued a freezing order sometime in November 2021.

Prosecutors said SBF and others attempted “numerous methods” to gain access to the assets, but after both legal and personal avenues were exhausted to no avail, the FTX founder himself directly instructed the bribe.

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