September 24, 2023

FTX’s ex-engineering chief Nishad Singh pleaded guilty to criminal charges in New York on Tuesday, becoming the latest member of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former leadership team to agree a deal.

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The six charges against Singh include conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws. FTX went into bankruptcy in November after the crypto exchange founded by Bankman-Fried could not meet customer withdrawal demands.

“Today’s guilty plea underscores once again that the scope and consequence of the crime at FTX was enormous,” Manhattan US Attorney Damien Williams said in a statement. “They rocked our financial markets with billions of dollars of fraud. And they corrupted our politics with millions of dollars in illegal straw campaign contributions. These crimes demand swift and sure justice and that is exactly what we in the Southern District of New I’m looking for. York.”

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Both the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, filed related civil complaints against Singh on Tuesday. The SEC said in a release that Singh is cooperating with the agency’s ongoing investigation, and that he has separately agreed to a settlement with the CFTC.

Two of the criminal charges against Singh pertain to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit commodity fraud.

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“Nishad is deeply sorry for his role in this and accepts responsibility for his actions,” Singh’s lawyers said in a statement. “He wants to do everything he can to make things right for the victims, which includes assisting the government in this matter to the best of his ability.”

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Prior to Singh’s guilty plea, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former co-CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison both pleaded guilty to federal charges in the Southern District of New York in December.

Alameda was a hedge fund and trading firm controlled by Bankman-Fried. Prosecutors allege that customer deposits on FTX were sent to sister company Alameda, which suffered billions of dollars in investment losses.

In December, Bankman-Fried was charged with eight criminal counts, including securities fraud and money laundering. Last week, he was indicted on four additional charges, including those related to commodity fraud and illegal political contributions. He was released on $250 million bond while awaiting trial.

A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

– David Sucherman of CNBC

Watch: Four new charges filed against Sam Bankman-Fried