Former director says he’s ‘unbelievably sorry’ for his role, pleading guilty to six charges
Nishad Singh, former FTX director of engineering, pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges on Tuesday, mounting further pressure on Sam Bankman-Fried. Singh, 27, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors’ investigation into Bankman-Fried, who now faces 12 criminal charges.
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 violating campaign finance laws, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have filed parallel civil lawsuits against Singh.
Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, alleged in a statement FTX’s operations were “fraud, pure and simple”, adding that Singh stole customer funds using the software code he helped create as engineering director.
The SEC complaint also points out that as the FTX collapse neared, Singh withdrew $6 million from FTX for personal use and expenditures, including the purchase of a “multi-million dollar house” alongside charitable donations.
Singh is the third high-level FTX employee to plead guilty and cooperate with the investigation. Caroline Ellison, Alameda’s chief executive, pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges in December. FTX CTO and co-founder Gary Wang also pleaded guilty to four criminal charges.
Singh’s lawyers told CNN that Singh 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.”
Damian Williams, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, illuminated the scope of the FTX collapse, stating in his ruling that: “Today’s guilty plea underscores once again that the crimes at FTX were vast in scope and consequence. 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.”
Williams added: “These crimes demand swift and certain justice and that is exactly what we are seeking in the Southern District of New York.”