BREAKING: Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in The Bahamas
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BREAKING: Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in The Bahamas

5 months ago

SBF is now being held in custody, and The Bahamas are anticipating that the U.S. will submit an extradition request.

BREAKING: Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in The Bahamas

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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in The Bahamas.

The U.S. has filed criminal charges against the 30-year-old — and reports suggest they include wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

SBF is now being held in custody, and The Bahamas is anticipating that the U.S. will submit an extradition request.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams has confirmed that the indictment against Bankman-Fried will be unsealed later this morning.

In a sign that the former CEO could face further charges, a statement from SEC enforcement director Gurbir Grewal said:

"The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately authorized charges relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws, which will be filed publicly [Tuesday] in the Southern District of New York."

Meanwhile, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis added:

"The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law. 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 U.S. and elsewhere."

It's yet another dramatic development after FTX was tipped into bankruptcy a month ago, leaving customers locked out of their life savings.

Some reports suggest up to $8 billion in customer funds could be missing, amid allegations that were improperly lent to sister trading firm Alameda Research.

Congress Appearance Canceled

All of this comes hours before Bankman-Fried was due to testify remotely before the House Financial Services Committee, with U.S. politicians demanding answers on FTX's demise.

SBF's appearance in Congress will now not go ahead — and while some in the crypto space will undoubtedly welcome this arrest, others are questioning its timing.

Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters has said she was "surprised" to hear that Bankman-Fried has been taken into custody, and had received confirmation from his lawyers that he was still planning to testify just hours earlier.

"It's about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun. However, as the public knows, my staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried's testimony before our Committee."

And while Rep. Waters said SBF must be held accountable, she added:

"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. 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."

The embattled entrepreneur's testimony may not have been all that illuminating anyway. He's already given several major interviews to the media — and at this hearing, he would have been under oath.

This hearing is expected to go ahead as planned, with new FTX CEO John Ray III still scheduled to give evidence.

For now, SBF is spending the night in a prison cell — ahead of an appearance at a court in Nassau later on Tuesday. Reports from The New York Times suggest he was cooperative during the arrest.

While The Bahamas and the U.S. do have an extradition treaty, it may be weeks before SBF is flown to America — potentially even longer if he mounts a legal challenge.

In an interview with the BBC published over the weekend, Bankman-Fried admitted he worried about being arrested while "ruminating at night."

He has continued to maintain that he didn't knowingly commit fraud.

Now, everything he has said since FTX's collapse — both on Twitter and in a media round that included The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Good Morning America — could be used against him.
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