FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, has been arrested by Bahamian authorities, after the U.S. government filed unspecified criminal charges against him. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams confirmed the former cryptocurrency billionaire’s arrest via Twitter.
“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,” Williams said. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”
Though details are currently scarce, the U.S. is expected to request Bankman-Fried’s extradition — a request the Bahamas has indicated it intends to honour.
“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,” the Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement shared with press.
“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.”
FTX was a cryptocurrency exchange that spectacularly collapsed earlier this year, filing for bankruptcy in November as Bankman-Fried stepped down from his role as CEO.
Before its dramatic implosion, FTX had been the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Then the company secretly lent US$10 billion worth of its customers’ assets to Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research, using it to bet on other cryptocurrencies without said customers’ authorisation.
Predictably, this didn’t work out. At least US$1 billion worth of customers’ cryptocurrency apparently just disappeared, while hackers reportedly took off with almost US$500 million more.
The FTX scandal was dramatic enough that Amazon has even ordered an eight-episode limited series on it. Now the show may have its finale.
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