Former FTX Engineering Director Nishad Singh Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges: Reuters

Singh joins fellow ex-FTX executives Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang in pleading guilty to charges. Founder Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to fraud and other charges and will face trial this fall.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2023 at 4:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 1, 2023 at 3:40 p.m. UTC

Former FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh pleaded guilty to six criminal charges in a New York court on Tuesday.

Singh, who worked with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried at the defunct crypto exchange, was reported to have been looking for a plea deal with prosecutors last month. Singh pleaded guilty to charges including fraud and conspiracy. Reuters reported the news on Tuesday.

Bankman-Fried has been charged with 12 different counts, ranging from bank fraud to securities and commodities fraud to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty and faces a trial this fall.

His fellow former executives Caroline Ellison, who used to helm prop trading shop Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, an FTX co-founder, have already pleaded guilty to fraud charges tied to FTX's collapse.

In a statement, Singh's lawyers said, “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.”

Prosecutors have alleged FTX used Alameda's bank accounts to accept customer deposits, knowing banks would not want to provide services to a crypto exchange.

Other allegations included in an indictment of Bankman-Fried include claims the former FTX CEO and his colleagues used both encrypted and ephemeral messaging platforms (like Signal) to communicate, "thereby preventing regulators and law enforcement from later obtaining a record" of these communications.

Prosecutors further alleged that FTX customers' funds were misappropriated for various uses.

FTX collapsed in November after a CoinDesk report showed Alameda held an unusually large amount of FTT tokens, which were issued by FTX. Crypto exchange Binance announced it would sell its own FTT holdings, which spurred a domino effect ending in FTX filing for bankruptcy protection alongside nearly 100 subsidiaries and related companies.

These bankruptcy cases are ongoing.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 2023, 16:55 UTC): Adds additional information.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 18:00 UTC): Adds information about charges.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 19:22 UTC): Adds statement from Singh's lawyers.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.