FTX "inner circle" member admits to wrongdoing in criminal investigation

The FTX logo on a yellow background

Nishad Singh, a former FTX executive and a close associate of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to FTX's operations and political donations, according to a report from NBC. Singh is the third FTX co-founder to cooperate with the authorities in their criminal probe against SBF, who currently faces eight counts of fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations.

For starters, FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange that offered trading services for various digital assets, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and more. However, FTX faced a liquidity crisis in November 2022 when it could not meet customers’ withdrawal demands. On November 19, 2022, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO. He was later arrested in the Bahamas.

Nishad Singh was involved in writing the code for FTX, sending customer money to Alameda Research (Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund) and making millions of dollars in political contributions through straw donors. Singh, who is an Indian-origin software engineer, previously worked for Facebook. He joined Alameda Research in 2017 after which he moved to FTX as the director of engineering in 2019.

Singh was part of FTX’s inner circle, which lived together and ran the cryptocurrency empire from the Bahamas. He was reportedly aware that FTX secretly transferred customer funds worth billions of dollars to its sister firm Alameda Research. In 2020, Singh tweaked FTX's software to allow Alameda from having its assets sold automatically if it were losing too much borrowed money, according to Reuters. This "tweak" allowed Alameda to keep borrowing from FTX irrespective of how much collateral is secured against the loans.

Source: NBC News, Reuters, The Guardian

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