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Following a guilty plea, the former FTX engineering director could spend up to 75 years in prison.

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Nishad Singh played a seemingly strategic role in the prosecutors’ narrative, aiming to attribute Alameda Research’s actions to Sam Bankman-Fried’s orchestration, utilizing FTX user funds. Singh, the former director of engineering at the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, reportedly expressed a desire for leniency in his legal predicament through an arrangement with the prosecutors.

Details emerged during the criminal trial of Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried on October 16, shedding light on Singh’s agreement with the United States Justice Department. Singh admitted guilt to fraud charges unveiled in February, facing a potential 75-year prison sentence for defrauding users of the crypto exchange.

Singh disclosed in his testimony that FTX had engaged in endorsements totaling approximately $1.3 billion with celebrities and sports figures, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, and Steph Curry, before the crypto market crash of 2022. Allegedly, FTX’s former CTO, Gary Wang, informed Singh that Alameda Research had borrowed $13 billion from the crypto exchange—a revelation that didn’t seem surprising to Bankman-Fried.

Intriguingly, Singh anticipated a tumultuous reaction to the Alameda news, expressing a sense of betrayal after investing five years of dedicated effort. Singh recounted that SBF proposed a $120 million investment in acquiring the messaging app Telegram, and Alameda directed FTX user funds specifically for political campaign donations. As liquidity challenges unfolded at FTX in November 2022, Singh admitted to grappling with suicidal thoughts while contending with purported disparities between the exchange’s public statements and its clandestine activities.

Singh’s testimony unfolded on the ninth day of Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial, commencing on October 3 in New York. Before the midday recess on October 16, Singh revealed that SBF occasionally spent Alameda’s funds unilaterally, often in an excessively lavish manner. This included investments in the artificial intelligence startup Anthropic and the firm K5 Global.

Bankman-Fried confronts seven fraud-related charges in his initial criminal trial and an additional five in a second trial slated for March 2024. He maintains a plea of not guilty against all charges.

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