F.T.X. Founder Sam Bankman Fried arrested in Bahamas, U.S. files criminal charge against him
- S.B.F.’s arrest in the Bahamas followed a receipt of formal notification from the U.S. that it has filed criminal charges against him and is likely to request his extradition
- The charges filed include securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.
F.T.X. founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by Bahamian authorities Monday following the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filing prosecution charges. “S.B.F.’s arrest followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against S.B.F. and is likely to request his extradition,” the Bahamas government’s official statement reads.
Damian Williams, who works as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, took to Twitter to state, “Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment.”
He further added that the federal government is looking to “unseal the indictment in the morning. As per media reports, the charges filed against S.B.F. include wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.
In an official statement, Bahamian Prime Minister (PM) Philip Davis said, “The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with F.T.X. who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.” Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder stated that the United States is expected to request his extradition.
Sam Bankman Fried was scheduled to testify in Congress on Tuesday about the implosion of his trading firm F.T.X. Following the arrest, Bankman-Fried is scheduled to appear on Tuesday in Magistrate Court in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
Amidst this, the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (S.E.C.) has also initiated a separate set of charges against the F.T.X. Founder relating to “violations of our securities laws. Ever since F.T.X. imploded last month, an S.E.C. probe was initiated, mainly targeting F.T.X. executives, their knowledge of handling customer funds, and any potential breaking of securities laws.
Another regulatory watchdog, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is also probing possible mishandling of customer funds by FTX.com, the crypto lending activities of FTX US, and the relationships between FTX.com and FTX US and trading firm Alameda Research.
SBF’s FTX empire filed for bankruptcy in mid-November, leaving more than a million creditors and several crypto firms in a state of turmoil. As per court filing, F.T.X. had more than 100,000 creditors, with liabilities and assets ranging from $1 billion to $10 billion.