FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in Bahamas

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The founder of crypto exchange FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), has been arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. 

“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,” read a statement by the Bahamas government.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, confirmed the news on Twitter.

A series of charges

The 30-year-old former billionaire and self-claimed altruist has been charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering, and securities fraud conspiracy. 

US prosecutors and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were laying the groundwork for a fraud case against SBF by examining how hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to the Bahamas around the Nov. 11 filing of FTX’s bankruptcy, reported Bloomberg on Dec. 10. 

Similarly, Bahamian authorities were undertaking their own investigations into FTX involving a number of specialists and experts in the field. 

“The Securities Commission, our financial intelligence unit, and the financial crimes unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force will continue to investigate the facts and circumstances regarding FTX’s insolvency crisis and any potential violations of Bahamian law,” Ryan Pinder, Minister of Legal Affairs, had earlier stated.

SBF’s arrest comes a day earlier. He was expected to speak before lawmakers in Washington to testify before the House Committee on Financial Services. Now, he is most likely to be extradited to the U.S.

Founded in 2019, crypto exchange FTX went bust last month after allegedly mixing funds between the two SBF-owned companies and mismanaging customer funds. Later, FTX admitted it didn’t hold one-to-one reserves of customer assets. 

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