Tag Archives: Alameda Research

SBF Accused Of Bribing Chinese Officials With $40 Mil!

SBF has just been accused of bribing Chinese officials with “at least $40 million” to unlock frozen trading accounts in China! Here is what you need to know…

 

SBF Accused Of Bribing Chinese Officials With $40 Million!

Sam Bankman-Fried, better known as SBF, has just been hit with fresh charges by US officials, who accuse the crypto-preneur of authorising a bribe of “at least $40 million” (about £32.5 million) to unlock frozen trading accounts in China!

In the updated indictment (PDF download), SBF was said to have approved the $40 million bribe after Chinese authorities froze Alameda Research trading accounts that were holding roughly $1 billion or £811 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

… in or about 2021, SAMUEL BANKMAN-FRIED, a/k/a “SBF”, the defendant, authorised and directed a bribe of at least $40 million to one or more Chinese government officials.

The purpose of the bribe was to influence and induce one or more Chinese government officials to unfreeze certain Alameda trading accounts containing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency, which had been frozen by Chinese authorities.

SBF now faces a total of 13 criminal charges, including this new additional charge. He could potentially be jailed for more than 100 years if convicted.

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How SBF Allegedly Bribed Chinese Officials With $40 Million!

In early 2021, Chinese authorities froze some Alameda Research accounts on two of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, freezing approximately $1 billion in cryptocurrency stored in those accounts.

At that time, SBF believed that the accounts were frozen as part of an ongoing investigation into another company that was trading with Alameda Research.

At least, SBF and others working for him tried “numerous methods” to unfreeze those accounts, including:

  • retaining lawyers in China to lobby for the Alameda accounts to be unlocked,
  • communicating with the Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges, and
  • opening new accounts on those Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges using several individuals unaffiliated with FTX (the “Fraudulent Accounts”) and then attempting to transfer cryptocurrency from the frozen accounts to those Fraudulent Accounts.

After months of failed attempts to unlock those frozen accounts, SBF and unnamed partners discussed and “ultimately agreed” to a multi million dollar bribe to unfreeze those accounts.

The indictment specifically called out SBF for authorising and directing the “illicit transfer of cryptocurrency” to “induce and influence one or more Chinese government officials to unfreeze the Accounts”.

Recommended : SBF Allegedly Hid $8 Billion In Korean Friend Account!

Following SBF’s authorisation and instructions, Alameda Research employees transferred cryptocurrency worth about $40 million from the Alameda main trading account to a private cryptocurrency wallet in November 2021, after which the Accounts were unfrozen.

After confirming that the accounts were unfrozen, SBF then authorised the transfer of “additional tens of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to complete the bribe“.

Thanks to the unfreezing of its accounts, Alameda was able to continue funding its trades, and continue what the government says was a fraud upon its customers and investors for another year.

FTX and Alameda would later implode in November 2022, with SBF arrested in December and charged with defrauding FTX customers, investors and lenders, as well as conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Federal Election Commission.

 

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SBF Allegedly Hid $8 Billion In Korean Friend Account!

The CFTC just alleged that Sam Bankman-Fried (better known as SBF) hid $8 billion of Alameda liabilities in a “Korean friend” account on the FTX crypto exchange!

 

SBF Allegedly Hid $8B Liabilities In Korean Friend Account!

In the spring of 2022, Alameda Research experienced a large number of margin and loan recalls following a major downturn in the crypto markets. To meet its external debt obligations, the trading firm “greatly increased” its usage of customer funds.

By the middle of 2022, Alameda’s total fiat liability with FTX was around $8 billion. That was when, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleged, Sam Bankman-Fried (better known as SBF) directed his executives to move approximately $8 billion of Alameda liabilities into an unknown customer account, which he would later refer to as “our Korean friend’s account” and/or “the weird Korean account”.

The CFTC added that even though this was a sub-account under Alameda, it was labelled as “FTX fiat old” and did not have the usual @alameda-research.com email account identifier. Instead, it was stored in an internal account in the FTX database as “fiat@ftx.com”

This allowed the liabilities in that account to be hidden on FTX ledgers. Yet, the “Korean friend” account had the same privileges as Alameda’s other accounts, including exemption from liquidation characteristics.

Recommended : SBF Flew Business As Judge Recuses From FTX Case!

 

FTX Korean Friend Account Had Special Privileges!

The “Korean friend” account had privileges to execute a transaction on FTX, even if it did not have the funds to do so. It was accomplished through a piece of code labeled as “allow negative flag”.

Separately, Bloomberg reported on December 14, that a GitHub account under the name Nishad Singh (FTX’s former engineering director), created or annotated code linked to that “Korean friend” account.

Looking back at what SBF said about Alameda, the signs were there that Alameda Research was likely losing money hand over fist.

Back in September 2022, SBF said that they should have shut down Alameda Research a year ago – before it was hit by the crypto winter.

I only started thinking about this today, and so haven’t vetted it much yet. But I think it might be time for Alameda Research to shut down. Honestly, it was probably time to do that a year ago.

By the time he made that comment, SBF probably knew that it would be a matter of time before his house of cards came falling down…

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang Plead Guilty To FTX Fraud!

Both Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang just pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange!

 

Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang Plead Guilty To FTX Fraud!

Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang – two close partners of Sam Bankman-Fried, plead guilty to criminal charges related to the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. They are now helping investigators with their investigations, in exchange for reduced sentencing.

The charges, guilty pleas and their cooperation with investigators occurred earlier, but was kept quiet until Sam Bankman-Fried (better know as SBF) was safely on a flight to the US from the Bahamas after he agreed to voluntary extradition.

SBF landed in New York at 10 PM local time on December 21, and Southern District of New York attorney Damian Williams announced that Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang pleaded guilty to charges “related to their roles in the fraud that contributed to FTX’s collapse”.

As I said last week, this investigation is ongoing and moving very quickly. I also said last week’s announcement would not be our last and let me be clear once again, neither is today’s.

I’m announcing that SDNY has filed charges against Caroline Ellison […] and Gary Wang […] in connection with their roles in the frauds that contributed to FTX’s collapse. Both Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang have plead guilty to those charges and both are cooperating with the SDNY.

Caroline Ellison was the head of Alameda Research – the trading firm started by SBF, which allegedly had “a virtually unlimited line of credit” funded by FTX customers. A former Google employee and MIT graduate, Gary Wang co-founded FTX with Sam Bankman-Fried.

Ellison plead guilty to seven charges, which could result in up to 110 years of jail time. Gary Wang plead guilty to four charges. However, more charges could follow if investigators find evidence of other crimes.

Read more : SEC Charges Reveal Fraud Committed By SBF In FTX!

 

Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang Also Faces SEC Charges

These criminal charges were paired with civil charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accused Ellison, Wang and Sam Bankman-Fried of securities violations related to FTX’s cryptocurrency, FTT.

The SEC also noted that both Ellison and Wang are cooperating with its ongoing investigations.

Washington D.C., Dec. 21, 2022 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, and Zixiao (Gary) Wang, the former Chief Technology Officer of FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), for their roles in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX, the crypto trading platform co-founded by Samuel Bankman-Fried and Wang. Investigations into other securities law violations and into other entities and persons relating to the alleged misconduct are ongoing.

According to the SEC’s complaint, between 2019 and 2022, Ellison, at the direction of Bankman-Fried, furthered the scheme by manipulating the price of FTT, an FTX-issued exchange crypto security token, by purchasing large quantities on the open market to prop up its price. FTT served as collateral for undisclosed loans by FTX of its customers’ assets to Alameda, a crypto hedge fund owned by Wang and Bankman-Fried and run by Ellison. The complaint alleges that, by manipulating the price of FTT, Bankman-Fried and Ellison caused the valuation of Alameda’s FTT holdings to be inflated, which in turn caused the value of collateral on Alameda’s balance sheet to be overstated, and misled investors about FTX’s risk exposure.

In addition, the complaint alleges that, from at least May 2019 until November 2022, Bankman-Fried raised billions of dollars from investors by falsely touting FTX as a safe crypto asset trading platform with sophisticated risk mitigation measures to protect customer assets and by telling investors that Alameda was just another customer with no special privileges; meanwhile, Bankman-Fried and Wang improperly diverted FTX customer assets to Alameda. The complaint alleges that Ellison and Wang knew or should have known that such statements were false and misleading. 

The complaint also alleges that Ellison and Wang were active participants in the scheme to deceive FTX’s investors and engaged in conduct that was critical to its success. The complaint alleges that Wang created FTX’s software code that allowed Alameda to divert FTX customer funds, and Ellison used misappropriated FTX customer funds for Alameda’s trading activity. The complaint further alleges that, even as it became clear that Alameda and FTX could not make customers whole, Bankman-Fried, with the knowledge of Ellison and Wang, directed hundreds of millions of dollars more in FTX customer funds to Alameda.

The SEC is calling for a civil penalty, and a ban for Ellison and Wang to ever serve as a company director or officer, as well as “disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains”, and an injunction against future securities violations and limiting them to only buy and sell securities for their own accounts.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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