Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and founder of trading firm Alameda Research has been arrested by authorities in The Bahamas.
A Dec. 12 statement from the Bahamas Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder, states Bankman-Fried was arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force following a formal notification from the United States government that it has filed criminal charges against the FTX founder.
The U.S. will likely request the extradition of Bankman-Fried. Pinder states The Bahamas will “promptly” process any extradition request by U.S. authorities.
Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement both countries have “a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.
A Dec. 12 tweet from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said authorities in The Bahamas arrested Bankman-Fried based on a sealed indictment it filed that it plans to unseal “in the morning.”
USA Damian Williams: Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 12, 2022
The charges against Bankman-Fried reportedly include wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud and money laundering according to a Dec. 12 report in The New York Times citing a person with knowledge of the matter.
Bloomberg reported on Dec. 10 that prosecutors from New York, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and other regulators met with FTX’s lawyers to discuss the documentation investigators want to obtain.
Related: SBF tried to destabilize crypto market to save FTX: Report
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was “closely” examining whether FTX improperly transferred hundreds of millions around the same time as the company declared bankruptcy on Nov. 11.
Bahamian authorities were similarly undertaking their own “active and ongoing” investigation into FTX as announced on Nov. 27 by Pinder that involved the country’s Securities Commission, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the police’s financial crimes unit.
Bankman-Fried’s arrest comes a day before he was expected to appear remotely to testify before the House Committee on Financial Services in a hearing investigating the collapse of the exchange.
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