FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas, US expected to request extradition,
Sam Bankman-Fried, disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX was arrested in the Bahamas Monday, authorities said.
Bahamian authorities said Bankman-Fried’s arrest came after the United States filed charges against him and was likely to request extradition.
“The Bahamas and the United States in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law,” Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.
“While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually, The Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX, with the continued cooperation of its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere.”
“At such time as a formal request for extradition is made, The Bahamas intends to process it promptly, pursuant to Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States,” said the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs in a statement.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed Bankman-Fried’s arrest based on a sealed indictment from the court.
“We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement provided to Fox News.
Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify Tuesday in front of the House Financial Services Committee, along with FTX’s current CEO, John Ray III.
“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many,” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. and chairwoman of the financial services committee said in a statement. “The public has been waiting eagerly to get these answers under oath before Congress, and the timing of this arrest denies the public this opportunity.”
“While I am disappointed that we will not be able to hear from Mr. Bankman-Fried tomorrow, we remain committed to getting to the bottom of what happened, and the Committee looks forward to beginning our investigation by hearing from Mr. John Ray III tomorrow.”
FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 when the firm ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run. Customers tried to withdraw their assets all at once because of growing doubts about the financial strength of the company and its affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research.
Since its collapse, FTX’s new management has called the cryptocurrency exchange’s management a “complete failure of corporate controls.”
Bankman-Fried has said he did not “knowingly” misuse customers’ funds.
“I didn’t ever want to commit fraud on anyone,” he said during an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at a conference put on by The New York Times in November. “I was shocked at what happened this month.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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