(New York) The former boss of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange platform, Sam Bankman-Fried, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to five new charges served on him by a federal judge in Manhattan, including corruption.
In early January, “SBF”, as he is nicknamed, had already pleaded not guilty to eight counts, mostly related to the fraud he is accused of in connection with his management of FTX.
Mr. Bankman-Fried and other executives are accused of using the accounts of FTX clients, without their knowledge, to fuel the speculative operations of Alameda, his investment company.
A significant part of the sums supposedly misappropriated were not recovered by the new team responsible for carrying out the orderly liquidation of the company.
Extradited to the United States from the Bahamas in December, “SBF” faces decades in prison. His trial is due to begin in October in New York.
Among the new charges added to the case by the services of the Manhattan federal prosecutor, Damian Williams, is that of corruption.
US authorities claim that Sam Bankman-Fried made Chinese officials pay at least US$40 million in bribes to regain access to frozen assets.
According to the document filed on Tuesday, Mr. Bankman-Fried had these funds transferred in 2021 to get Chinese authorities to recover more than $1 billion in cryptocurrencies housed in accounts in the name of Alameda. .
The American authorities do not indicate whether or not the approach made it possible to end the sanctions.
Then the second largest cryptocurrency exchange, FTX filed for bankruptcy in November, victim of a crisis of confidence and requests for mass withdrawals from customers.
Also charged, two other former executives of FTX and Alameda, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, pleaded guilty to several counts and agreed to cooperate with the American authorities, unlike Mr. Bankman-Fried, who contests the charges brought against him.
A time credited with a personal fortune of 26 billion dollars, Sam Bankman-Fried is also accused of having invested, without authorization, funds from FTX clients in real estate in the Bahamas.
The Manhattan federal prosecutor also accuses him of having used these same funds to make donations to Democratic political figures, in particular Joe Biden, during his presidential campaign.