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FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas

Photo of Sam Bankman-Fried on stage.
Reports also claim that the US has filed criminal charges against it. | Photo: Getty Images

Just over a month after crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder announced the arrest of its founder and former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

According to According to a report, the arrest came after the US government notified the Bahamas of criminal charges against Bankman-Fried and said it would likely seek his extradition to the country where he lived and which had served as a base of operations for FTX. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, confirmed the arrestsaying in a statement: “We expect to move tomorrow morning to unlock the indictment and will have more to say by then.”

The collapse of the FTX revealed that SBF and his associates appear to have used client deposits with FTX to support his other company, the Alameda Research trading firm. down operations.

Bankman-Fried was due to testify in congressional hearings this week, and in recent weeks he’s been on a seemingly non-stop media tour of interviews to explain what was happening at a company that, for a time, made him one of the world’s most important youngest billionaires. .

John J. Ray III, who took over from Bankman-Fried as CEO of FTX and whose qualifications include overseeing the corporate cleanup after Enron imploded, has said, “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial information as has happened here.

In prepared testimony (pdf) filed today ahead of Ray’s appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, he laid out five points that give us at least a hint about the charges Bankman-Fried may face:

While many things are still unknown at this stage and many questions remain, we know the following:

First, customer assets from FTX.com were mixed with assets from the Alameda trading platform.

Second, Alameda used client money to engage in margin trading, causing huge losses for client money.

Third, the FTX Group continued spending in late 2021 through 2022, spending approximately $5 billion buying a host of companies and investments, many of which are worth only a fraction of what was paid for them.

Fourth, loans and other payments to insiders were made in excess of $1 billion.

Fifth, Alameda’s business model as a market maker required the deployment of funds on various third-party exchanges, which was inherently insecure and compounded by the limited protections offered in certain foreign jurisdictions.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement that “I am surprised to learn that Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas under the direction of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It’s time for the trial to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice.”

“While I am disappointed that we will not be able to hear from Mr Bankman-Fried tomorrow, we remain committed to getting to the bottom of what happened, and the committee looks forward to beginning our investigation by hearing from the Lord John Ray III tomorrow.”

SBF conducted at least two live interviews earlier Monday, including one live chat with Forbes reporters and a Twitter Spaces chat with “Unusual Whales.” Answering questions while apparently playing the game Storybook Brawlthe New York Post According to reports, he said, “I don’t think I’ll be arrested,” just hours before he was actually arrested.

To be last tweet was posted at 4:44 PM ET.

A statement from the Attorney General of the Bahamas confirming the arrest of FTX co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, pending his likely extradition to the United States for criminal charges.
Image: Office of the Attorney General and Department of Legal Affairs, Commonwealth of the Bahamas
A statement from the Attorney General of the Bahamas.

Update December 13, 2:30 AM ET: Added statement from U.S. Representative Maxine Waters.

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