FTX chief pleads not guilty to new federal charges

Former FTX chief Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges recently added by US prosecutors in the government’s sprawling case against the former cryptocurrency company, AFP reported.
Bankman-Fried, known as “SBF,” had in January entered a “not guilty” plea to eight other criminal charges from his original indictment, including fraud.
Among the newest charges — included in a superseding indictment filed Tuesday by US Attorney Damian Williams — were allegations that Bankman-Fried authorized bribes of at least $40 million to Chinese officials.
FTX and its sister trading house Alameda Research went bankrupt in November, dissolving a virtual trading business that at one point had been valued by the market at $32 billion.
The China case stemmed from a move by Chinese authorities to freeze Alameda accounts as part of what Bankman-Fried understood as a probe of an Alameda trading counterparty, according to AFP.
Bankman-Fried ultimately directed multi-billion dollar bribes to unfreeze the assets, said the indictment, adding that the accounts were unfrozen.

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried in mid-December at the request of the US government. He was subsequently extradited to the US.
Bankman-Fried faces potentially dozens of years in prison. His trial is scheduled to begin in October in New York.

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