Regulation

Former FTX exec will plead guilty to federal charges with a deal: Report

Nishad Singh, the co-founder and former chief engineer of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, is working on a plea deal with prosecutors, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 17. The deal, which would see the 27-year-old Singh plead guilty to charges related to FTX’s collapse, has yet to be finalized, the report said.

Singh would be following in the footsteps of former FTX chief technology officer Gary Wang and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, who pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in December after reaching deals with prosecutors. Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried has pleaded innocent to eight federal charges and is currently living with his parents in California.

Singh, a childhood friend of SBF’s brother Gabriel, was the author of some of FTX’s software and one of the roommates in SBF’s Bahamas penthouse. SBF told a Vox reporter shortly after the FTX collapse that Singh was “scared” and “ashamed and guilty” over the event.

Singh remained out of sight the longest among FTX’s leadership but reappeared in the first week of January for a proffer session at the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. At a proffer session, an individual may be granted limited immunity to share their knowledge with prosecutors.

Related: FTX seeks to claw back political donations by the end of February

Federal criminal charges are only part of Singh’s legal worries. Singh and others from the FTX inner circle were subpoenaed on Feb. 14 in a class-action suit against venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and private equity firms Thoma Bravo and Paradigm.

Ellison and Wang have settled in cases brought against them by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, but Singh could potentially be subject to actions brought by those agencies too. Among the charges against SBF are campaign finance violations. Singh was also a major contributor to the U.S. Democratic candidates and causes, reportedly donating $9.3 million since 2020.

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