Updated Feb 28, 2023 - Economy

Ex-FTX chief engineer pleads guilty to federal charges

Illustration of a crypto block sitting in the dark, with a red and blue light rotating over it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to six charges relating to his role in the cryptocurrency platform's dramatic collapse. The CFTC and SEC also filed charges against him.

Why it matters: Prosecutors are moving to strengthen the case against Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF. FTX's disgraced founder is now facing a range of accusations, with the government unveiling four new criminal charges just last week.

  • Singh is the latest FTX insider federal prosecutors have charged as part of their investigation into what they describe as a years-long scheme to defraud investors, customers, and lenders.
  • SBF, who also co-founded Alameda, was indicted earlier in December and extradited from the Bahamas to the U.S., where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
  • Caroline Ellison, who served as Alameda's CEO, and Gary Wang, FTX’s former CTO, pleaded guilty to their respective charges shortly thereafter.

Details: Singh pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, three of conspiracy to commit fraud, one of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by violating campaign finance laws.

What they're saying: "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, Andrew D. Goldstein and Russell Capone, said in a statement.

What we're watching: Who's next from the FTX universe to face charges over their involvement.

Editor's note: The story has been updated with a statement from Nishad Singh's attorneys.

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