This photo illustration shows a message reading We strongly advise against depositing on the website of cryptocurrency FTX, displayed near its logo, in Washington, DC, on November 13, 2022. – (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 5:48 PM PT – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
FTX’s co-founder and Director of Engineering Nishad Singh has pleaded guilty to U.S. federal fraud and conspiracy charges.
Today we charged Nishad Singh, the former Co-Lead Engineer of FTX Trading Ltd., for his role in a multiyear scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX, the crypto trading platform started by Singh, Samuel Bankman-Fried, and Gary Wang.
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) February 28, 2023
“Nishad is deeply sorry for his role in this and has accepted responsibility for his actions. He wants to do everything he can to make things right for victims, including by assisting the government to the best of his ability in this case,” Singh’s lawyers said in a statement.
Singh entered a plea of guilty to six federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. of campaign finance rules and wire fraud. According to Reuters, he consented to lose the earnings from his acts.
According to bankruptcy records, Singh borrowed $543 million from Alameda, a cryptocurrency trading and hedge fund company that is FTX’s sibling.
From the new SEC filing against former FTX director of engineering Nishad Singh.
At Sam Bankman-Fried’s order, to make it seem like FTX had earned $1 billion in revenue in 2021, Singh backdated a series of fraudulent transfers, lied to auditors, and created false documentation: pic.twitter.com/arZA9Yp6KJ
— Leo Schwartz (@leomschwartz) February 28, 2023
Singh acknowledged using money from Alameda Research to make unauthorized contributions to political politicians and PACs under his name. According to The Wall Street Journal, he stated the gifts were made to increase FTX and Bankman-Fried’s political influence. While not revealing the candidates, Singh said, he supported the positions of people to whom he gave money. During the 2022 election season, he gave $8 million to Democrat PACs and campaigns, according to OpenSecrets.
Singh added that he learned in the middle of 2022 that Alameda was borrowing billions of dollars in consumer funds from FTX. By September, it had become clear that Alameda wouldn’t be able to pay back the money. Singh further asserted that he fabricated FTX’s sales figures at SBF’s direction to attract investors.
Former executives from FTX who have previously pleaded guilty to fraud charges are Caroline Ellison and Zixiao “Gary” Wang.
As a CoinDesk article revealed Alameda had an unusually significant amount of FTT tokens, which were created by FTX, FTX collapsed in November. Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, indicated it would liquidate its own FTT holdings, which set off a chain reaction that resulted in FTX filing for bankruptcy along with almost 100 other subsidiaries and affiliated businesses.