Cryptocurrency

SBF inner circle continues disintegrating as Nishad Singh becomes latest to seek plea deal

Hull Invest

Former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh met with prosecutors last week to discuss a possible cooperation deal, Bloomberg News report 10 January, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Singh is the third member of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) inner circle to seek a plea bargain.

FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to criminal charges in December. At her plea hearing, Ellison admitted to hiding billions of dollars that Alameda lent to FTX executives.

Wang and Ellison are working with the New York State Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of the United States in a fraud case against SBF.

Bloomberg reports that Singh attended a profile session the week of Jan. 2 to discuss limited immunity in return for sharing information with investigators.

Proposer sessions do not automatically lead to a plea bargain, but prosecutors use sessions to assess the value of Singh’s testimony and decide whether to propose a deal. The plea bargain requires Shin to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for leniency.

Singh has not yet been charged, but is under investigation by the New York State Attorney’s Office. The SEC and CFTC are also investigating Singh’s involvement in the mishandling of FTX funds.

SBF pleaded “not guilty” to multiple fraud and money laundering counts in early January. His criminal case is set to begin in October.

Singh’s involvement with FTX and Alameda

Until 2017, Singh worked as a software engineer at Meta, then known as Facebook. He joined Alameda in December 2017 as Director of Engineering and in April 2019 he transitioned to the role of Director of Engineering at FTX.

FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame notified Bahamian authorities in November that only three people—Singh, Wang, and SBF—were able to transfer funds from FTX to Alameda.

The bankruptcy court filing also revealed that Singh received a $543 million loan from Alameda. Reports suggested that Shin was missing until recently.

According to Bloomberg, Singh has personally donated more than $9.3 million to Democratic candidates and committees since 2020, which could provide prosecutors with insight into political contributions made by FTX and affiliates. The report points out that

FTX’s new management, led by John J. Ray, is seeking to collect charitable and political donations from FTX and its affiliates.

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