Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, was arrested on Monday by Bahamian authorities, according to a statement by the Office of the Attorney General & Ministry of Legal Affairs of the Bahamas.
Police in the Bahamas arrested SBF following a formal notification by the U.S. government that it had filed criminal charges against the 30-year-old and likely will request his extradition, according to the statement.
“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 statement read. “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.”
In a tweet on Monday evening, Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, confirmed that Bahamian authorities had arrested SBF at the request of the U.S. government based on a sealed indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Williams said he would provide more information on Tuesday morning when the indictment is set to be unsealed.
The Office of the Attorney General & Ministry of Legal Affairs said it would comply with any extradition request.
Last month, FTX declared bankruptcy and SBF stepped down as CEO following a severe “liquidity issue.” After seeking a buyout from competing crypto exchanges, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, seemed set to buy the beleaguered company. CEO Changpeng Zhao and Binance ultimately backed out of the deal, citing issues “beyond our control or ability to help.”
Bankman-Fried has been accused of improperly accessing customer funds at his crypto exchange FTX to fund risky bets at the trading firm he founded, Alameda Research. He was set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.
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