Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the disgraced founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been arrested in the Bahamas after being criminally charged by the U.S. government.
According to reports, Bahamian authorities have arrested SBF at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The charges against SBF include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering. In addition, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has separately initiated a set of charges relating to Bankman-Fried’s violations of securities laws. It is likely that SBF will be extradited to the United States.
BREAKING: Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas, the country’s Attorney-General said in a statement https://t.co/kyDSrVqj8Q pic.twitter.com/muax99dV2P
— Bloomberg (@business) December 12, 2022
SBF’s Jail Time
Following SBF’s arrest, the Bahamas Police said in a statement that he was taken into custody without incident and will appear in Nassau’s Magistrate Court on Tuesday. As per the statement, the Bahamian police noted,
“Bankman-Fried was arrested reference to various Financial Offences against laws of the United States, which are also offences against laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
Meanwhile, the Bahamian Prime Minister, Philip Davis, expressed that Bahamanian authorities along with 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 causing billions of dollars worth of losses worldwide. The Prime Minister added,
“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.”
From Boom to Bust
The arrest comes ahead of SBF’s scheduled appearance before U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday, where he was planning to give testimony via a video link to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, urged to remain committed to getting to the bottom of the FTX fiasco adding that it is “about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun”.
“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, & wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many.”
– Chairwoman @RepMaxineWaters
— U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) December 13, 2022
FTX’s stunning fall from grace has sent shockwaves throughout the crypto ecosystem dragging down digital asset prices to unexpected lows. Bitcoin (BTC) tanked to a two year low since riding the high tide last November.
Ethereum (ETH) along with major digital tokens shed substantial values. Moreover, several crypto outfits with exposure to FTX plunged into a severe finacial crunch with companies such as, BlockFi and Genesis running into bankruptcy.