The accounts, held with two of China’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, contained more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency, according to the indictment.
Mr. Bankman-Fried directed Alameda employees to pay the bribe after months of failed attempts to regain control of the accounts, prosecutors said. The accounts were unfrozen at the time a first illicit payment was made, the indictment alleges. Mr. Bankman-Fried then authorized an additional payment of tens of millions of dollars to complete the bribe, the indictment alleges.
At the direction of Mr. Bankman-Fried, Alameda used the unfrozen crypto to fund additional trades, the indictment says.
Prosecutors said in a letter to the judge that a grand jury had handed up the new 13-count indictment on Monday. The latest indictment contains the 12 charges that Mr. Bankman-Fried already faces, plus one additional count, for conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. A representative from the Chinese embassy in Washington didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The bribery allegations add to the mounting legal pressures facing Mr. Bankman-Fried and demonstrate the breadth of the Justice Department’s investigation. In addition to a series of fraud charges, prosecutors have also alleged he violated U.S. campaign-finance law in a bid to curry favor in Washington.
Mr. Bankman-Fried faces an uphill battle as he prepares for a trial in October. Three members of his inner circle have pleaded guilty to fraud and other offenses and are cooperating with prosecutors. Two have said in plea hearings that they worked with Mr. Bankman-Fried to mislead FTX investors and lenders to Alameda.
Prosecutors first charged Mr. Bankman-Fried in December, alleging in a bare-bones indictment that he stole billions of dollars of FTX customer funds, in addition to misleading investors and lenders. They unveiled a second indictment in February with new allegations, including that he conspired to commit bank fraud and operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
Mr. Bankman-Fried, 31 years old, has pleaded not guilty to the charges in the first indictment, but has yet to be arraigned on the additional charges.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday also approved new bail restrictions for Mr. Bankman-Fried after months of debate over his access to electronic devices while he is awaiting trial and under home detention at his parents’ house in Northern California.
Under the new restrictions, Mr. Bankman-Fried will be prohibited from using his parents’ computers and other devices, can visit only preapproved websites and may use only a phone without internet access. A security guard will also screen any visitors for electronic devices, which the guard will confiscate before the person enters Mr. Bankman-Fried’s home.
Prosecutors said in a letter to the judge Tuesday that the new charge didn’t change their position on bail conditions.
Mr. Bankman-Fried is scheduled to be arraigned on the latest indictment at a hearing Thursday.