A male judge in the courtroom on a wooden table

Former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh seeks plea deal

Another of Sam Bankman-Fried’s associates is in talks with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York in the hopes of becoming the third former confidant and colleague of the disgraced FTX CEO to get a plea agreement, according to a report.

Former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh has met with federal prosecutors in a “proffer session,” a meeting that often involves limited immunity in an attempt to encourage the witness to speak freely.

If it’s decided that Singh’s information could be valuable in the prosecution of Bankman-Fried, he would likely be offered a plea deal, joining Caroline Ellison, the chief executive of FTX’s hedge fund arm Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, FTX’s co-founder, both of whom have already pled guilty to fraud charges and are working with authorities.

In his position as FTX engineering chief and former housemate of Bankman-Fried, it’s quite possible that Singh could prove useful in showing how FTX and its CEO skirted and broke various U.S. finance laws, while another key topic of discussion for the federal prosecutors is almost certainly going focus on campaign financing.

Singh has donated more than $9.3 million to Democratic Party-aligned initiatives since 2020, and in April 2021 donated $1 million to the political action committee Mind The Gap, founded by Bankman-Fried’s mother.

Bankman-Fried was known as the digital asset industry’s number one political donor, contributing $70 million to election campaigns in less than 18 months, which put him amongst the nation’s top donors from any sector. He was also a leading advocate for the industry, frequently meeting with key lawmakers and regulators to make a case for the digital asset space.

Washington’s coziness with the now disgraced Bankman-Fried has caused a lot of soul-searching and tough questions around lobbying practices in the U.S., putting pressure on prosecutors to unpick this side of the FTX story in their pursuit of the donor-in-chief.

If fellow donor Singh could offer insight into the campaign finance side of the FTX operation, a favorable plea deal could be on the cards, putting even more focus on Bankman-Fried as the primary person responsible for all of FTX’s alleged crimes and illicit dealings.

This latest’ defection’ of a former colleague will come as another major blow to Bankman-Fried, who was arrested at his home in the Bahamas on December 12, 2022, and extradited to the U.S., where the Department of Justice (DOJ) hit him with a litany of charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit campaign finance violations.

If convicted on all counts, Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison.

Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple,
Ethereum, FTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

[id^="_form"]
[id^="_form"]
[id$="_submit"]
[id$="_submit"]
[^;]
[^;]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
[(d+)]
[(d+)]
[elem.name]
[elem.name]
[+_a-z0-9-'&=]
[+_a-z0-9-'&=]
[+_a-z0-9-']
[+_a-z0-9-']
[a-z0-9-]
[a-z0-9-]
[a-z]
[a-z]
[el.name]
[el.name]
[id^="_form"]
[id^="_form"]
[id$="_submit"]
[id$="_submit"]
[^;]
[^;]
[?&]
[?&]
[^&#]
[^&#]
[(d+)]
[(d+)]
[elem.name]
[elem.name]
[+_a-z0-9-'&=]
[+_a-z0-9-'&=]
[+_a-z0-9-']
[+_a-z0-9-']
[a-z0-9-]
[a-z0-9-]
[a-z]
[a-z]
[el.name]
[el.name]