Bahamian authorities have arrested Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, after he was indicted by the United States on criminal charges.
News of Bankman-Fried’s cuffing arrived in a tweet from the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at around 1900 local time on Monday.
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
Latrae L. Rahming, the director of communications at the office of the Bahamas prime minister, joined in the Twitter fun by sharing the letter below confirming the arrest and adding two important details: criminal charges have been filed against the former CEO, and the US will likely seek extradition from the Bahamas.
On 12 December 2022, the Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas is announcing the arrest by The Royal Bahamas Police Force of Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”), former CEO of FTX. pic.twitter.com/CRNeLPAbVp
— Latrae L. Rahming (DOC)🇧🇸 (@latraelrahming) December 12, 2022
Rahming later shared a statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force that explains Bankman-Fried was arrested on suspicion of “various offences against laws of the United States, which are also offences against the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
A Statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force on the arrest of Samual Benjamin Bankman-Fried.
Police wish to inform that 30-year-old SAMUEL BENJAMIN BANKMAN-FRIED of California, U.S.A, has been arrested. pic.twitter.com/Mr85S2fzcN
— Latrae L. Rahming (DOC)🇧🇸 (@latraelrahming) December 13, 2022
No information has emerged regarding the charges Bankman-Fried will face, but it appears he will front a US court to defend them.
News of the arrest comes just over a month after FTX imploded leaving around $8 billion of customers’ funds inaccessible.
FTX won many of those customers by promoting itself as a safe and secure option – akin to a bank – for those who invest in cryptocurrency and other tokenized assets.
But it has since emerged that the company made only token efforts at governance and didn’t even bother to keep a list of its bank accounts. Allegedly FTX also loaned customers’ funds to a related company, Alameda Research, to help it cover losses on crypto trades.
As the crypto market roiled, that loan created a liquidity crisis at FTX. An attempt to sell FTX to rival Binance imploded once the latter company saw FTX’s books and ran a mile to avoid any whiff of an entanglement or association.
The facts of the case mean The Register imagines the US Attorney’s Office has a smorgasbord of possible crimes with which to charge Bankman-Fried.
Once the indictment is unsealed, we’ll bring you news of which specific charges he faces. ®