Sam Bankman-Fried, the infamous ex-CEO of FTX, was detained in the Bahamas at the request of the United States, one day before he was scheduled to testify before Congress.
According to a statement released on December 12 by the Bahamas Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder, the Royal Bahamas Police Force arrested Bankman-Fried after receiving official notification from the United States government that it had issued criminal actions against him.
A source told The New York Times on December 12 that Bankman-Fried was charged with wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, and money laundering.
Pinder has stated that the Bahamas will “promptly” process any extradition request from the United States for Bankman-Fried.
Both countries, according to a statement released by Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis, have “a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”
After filing a sealed indictment on December 12, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York tweeted that Bahamian officials had arrested Bankman-Fried based on the indictment. The indictment would be unsealed “in the morning.”
Bloomberg reported on December 10 that FTX’s attorneys met with New York prosecutors, FBI agents, and regulators to discuss the information the investigators need.
FTX Under Regulatory Crosshairs
When FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said it was “closely” investigating whether the corporation had inappropriately transferred hundreds of millions of dollars.
The inquiries into possible criminal behavior by the Royal Bahamas Police Force was reported earlier. Specifically, the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) and financial investigators have begun looking into the defunct FTX Digital Markets Ltd. headquarters on the island.
Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify remotely before the House Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday, the day before his detention. The hearing was looking into the collapse of the exchange.
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