Nishad Singh, a co-founder and former Director of Engineering of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, officially pled guilty to six federal charges on Tuesday.
Among other charges, Singh admitted to committing wire fraud. This would be less surprising if Singh hadn’t been one of the four members of a secret FTX exec Signal chat allegedly called wire fraud.
With the exception of disgraced ex-FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who’s currently on house arrest at his parent’s multi-million dollar Palo Alto pad awaiting criminal trial, Singh is the last of the wirefraud kids — a group that also included Tumblr queen Caroline Ellison, former Alameda Research CEO, and Bankman-Fried’s rumored ex-girlfriend, and FTX cofounder Gary Wang to plead guilty to multiple charges.
As a result, Singh may have to testify against SBF, the only one of the group who seemingly wants to fight the charges.
As the WSJ tells it, Singh widely regarded as the nicest, most approachable member of the FTX inner circle was actually close high school friends with Bankman-Fried’s younger brother Gabe. He joined Alameda, the SBF-founded crypto hedge fund, shortly after graduating from The University of California, Berkley with top honors.
The engineer ultimately went on to help Bankman-Fried architect FTX, which launched in 2019. And the rest, as they say, was short-lived, chaotic, and spectacularly disastrous history.
A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission details that Singh wrote the code that, as the WSJ puts it, “allowed Bankman-Fried to divert FTX customer funds” to Alameda. Singh has also apparently admitted to knowing about the misappropriation of customer funds.
The WSJ further notes that a number of FTX employees were shocked to discover that Singh, seen by so many as one of the nice guys, was involved in any wrongdoing. But, hey. Bankman-Fried seemed pretty nice, too.