Police in the Bahamas have arrested Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency giant FTX who is accused of stealing billions of dollars from his customers’ crypto accounts. US prosecutors have reportedly been laying the groundwork for a fraud case against the alleged shyster and others involved in the collapse of FTX.
Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York (SDNY) filed charges after scrutinizing how funds held by Bankman-Fried moved outside the US as it was heading toward bankruptcy.
United States Attorney Damian Williams confirmed the arrest based on a sealed indictment. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” Williams said in a statement.
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
“The Bahamas and the United States in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law,” Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.
“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 United States and elsewhere.”
“At such time as a formal request for extradition is made, The Bahamas intends to process it promptly, pursuant to Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States,” said the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs in a statement.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas pic.twitter.com/HQ2OKJ6kEH
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 12, 2022
Bankman-Fried reportedly donated more than a billion dollars to Democrats before his firm’s collapse.
The FTX founder was scheduled to testify under oath before a Democrat-controlled congressional committee on Tuesday.
The cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 when the firm ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run. Customers tried to withdraw their assets all at once because of growing doubts about the financial strength of the company and its affiliated trading arm, Alameda Research.
Since its collapse, FTX’s new management has called the cryptocurrency exchange’s management a “complete failure of corporate controls.”
Bankman-Fried has claimed that he did not “knowingly” misuse customers’ funds.
“I didn’t ever want to commit fraud on anyone,” he said during an interview with The New York Times in November. “I was shocked at what happened this month.”
According to Fox News’ Jesse Waters, “the crypto scam artist used the money to fund corporate sex parties, buy drugs, and help the Democrat party win the Senate.”