Nishad Singh, a former director of engineering (DOE) at the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has pleaded guilty to the charges of criminality against him. The former executive concurred with the charges against him, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.
Singh expressed regret at the court hearing, profoundly apologizing for his role in siphoning customer funds. He also admitted that he was aware that Sam Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund group, Alameda, was using customer funds to trade. The former chief engineer also said he had the intelligence by mid-2022, but the customers were ignorant of the escapades.
Singh is the third member of FTX’s former management team to plead guilty to charges against them. In December, the former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, and the co-founder of FTX, Gary Wang, pleaded guilty to fraud charges against them. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged them with fraud and diversion of user funds.
Pressure Mounts on Bankman-Fried
The relationship between Mr. Bankman-Fried and Singh is a close one. Singh was a bosom friend to the former FTX CEO in high school, which began their relationship. In 2019, Singh started with FTX and aided Mr. Bankman in numerous software alterations.
With Singh’s guilty plea to one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against FTX customers, Mr. Bankman-Fried will be put under pressure to follow suit in his upcoming trial. The ex-FTX boss pleaded not guilty in his court appearance on January 3, adjourning the case to October 2, 2023.
The Saga Continues
In a statement after the plea, federal prosecutor Damian Williams said, “Today’s guilty plea underscores again that the crimes in FTX are vast in scope and consequence.”
“They rocked our financial market with a multi-billion dollar fraud. And they corrupted our politics with tens of millions of dollars in illegal straw campaign contributions.”
Mr. Bankman-Fried used VPN to surf the internet earlier this month. U.S. prosecutors alleged he used the private browsing system to attempt to influence witnesses in his case.
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