Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to new charges from US prosecutors, including bribing Chinese officials with $40 million. Bankman-Fried, who is 31 years old, also pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to violate campaign finance regulations through unlawful political donations.
FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to new U.S. charges.
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New Charges Against Bankman-Fried
Federal prosecutors charged Bankman-Fried last week with directing $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze assets relating to his cryptocurrency business. Bankman-Fried now faces a total of 13 charges after being arrested in the Bahamas last December and later extradited to the US for trial.
Bankman-Fried entered the plea to the latest allegations through his lawyer, Mark Cohen, in a Manhattan court. Although Bankman-Fried is pleading not guilty to the new charges, his lawyer stated that he is not acknowledging that he can be tried on them. Prosecutors have also accused Bankman-Fried of illegally donating money to political candidates and committees in New York under another person’s name.
Bankruptcy and Previous Charges
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 when it ran out of money after experiencing the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run. Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he cheated investors of billions of dollars before his cryptocurrency exchange collapsed. Carolyn Ellison, who led FTX’s hedge fund Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, who co-founded FTX, have already pleaded guilty to charges including wire, securities, and commodities fraud.