Former FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh Pleads Guilty to Fraud & Conspiracy Charges

Nishad Singh, the former Director of Engineering for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, pleaded guilty on February 28, 2023, to fraud and conspiracy charges. Per a Reuters report, he plans on working with prosecutors. 

“I am unbelievably sorry for my role in all of this,” Singh stated, and promised to return all the money he made from the exchange’s fraudulent activity.

According to a report by Kitco, Singh pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by breaking campaign finance laws. The FTX executive was released on a $250,000 bond.

Prosecutor Danielle Sassoon revealed at a court hearing on February 28 that Singh also traveled from the Bahamas to help the investigation shortly after FTX collapsed in the middle of November.

“He wants to do everything he can to make things right for victims, including by assisting the government to the best of his ability,” announced Singh’s legal counsel Andrew Goldstein and Russell Capone.

Singh is now accompanying Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX cofounder Gary Wang as key witnesses in the US Department of Justice’s investigation into the firms and their founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. Ellison and Wang reached plea deals with the DoJ in December.

Bankman-Fried pleaded not-guilty to the 8 criminal charges pressed against him in December. Prosecutors at the end of February unsealed a new indictment against Bankman-Fried featuring four more charges related to campaign finance violations. At a glance, Singh shared important information to corroborate the new charges.

In recent years, Singh was an active donor to the Democratic Party. Since 2020, Singh donated over $9 million to the Democratic party since 2020, including $8 million leading into the 2022 midterm elections.

Singh told the court on February 28 that he agreed to make the Democratic Party donations in his own name, and that they were funded by transfers from Alameda Research. In several charges that were recently filed, prosecutors claimed that Bankman-Fried conspired with two other former FTX executives to donate tens of millions of dollars to effectively buy off elected officials.

These donations ran afoul of campaign finance laws due to how they were made by “straw” donors or originated from corporate funds, or both. 

“Today’s guilty plea underscores once again that the crimes at FTX were vast in scope and consequence,” declared federal prosecutor Damian Williams in a statement. “They rocked our financial markets with a multibillion-dollar fraud. And they corrupted our politics with tens of millions of dollars in illegal straw campaign contributions.”

It’s good to see corrupt actors be brought to justice. The FTX scandal just shows how corrupt the financial sector can be, and how it can also poison budding fields such as cryptocurrencies. The scandal also demonstrated how tight Big Finance is with the Democratic Party, which is now the party that represents elitist interests. 

Right-wing governments will need to keep major tabs on the financial sector and make sure that these people are held in check. The private sector is just as capable of engaging in mass corruption as the federal government. 

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