February 8, 2023

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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in the Bahamas • TechCrunch

Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force after the United States reportedly filed criminal charges against the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, and is likely to seek his extradition.

The office of the Attorney General of the Bahamas issued a statement today that was reported BNO and other news outlets said they would hold Bankman-Fried in custody pending “a formal request for extradition.”

In a statement, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said: “The Bahamas and the United States have a common interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have violated public trust and broken the law.” While the United States pursues criminal charges against SBF individually, the Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigation into the collapse of FTX, in cooperation with its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere.”

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams confirmed the arrest and the fact that it was “at the request of the US government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY.” In a tweet, the SDNY’s office added, “We expect to unseal the indictment tomorrow morning and have more to say at that time.”

The former billionaire was due to testify before the US House Financial Services Committee tomorrow, TechCrunch’s Jacquelyn Melinek reported today. The committee is investigating the events that led to FTX’s implosion, which resulted in the crypto exchange filing for bankruptcy last month and forcing Bankman-Fried to step down as CEO.

As TechCrunch previously reported, Reuters reported last month that Bankman-Fried secretly transferred $10 billion in FTX client funds to related trading firm Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried told the publication that transferring the funds was a misinterpretation of the “confusing internal labeling.” He has repeatedly claimed that he was not aware of any wrongdoing.

Axios reported earlier today that Bankman-Fried “continues to refuse to testify before the US Senate Banking Committee and his attorneys are refusing to accept a subpoena,” according to a new statement from Sens. Sherrod Brown and Pat Toomey.

This is an evolving story. TechCrunch reporter Amanda Silberling contributed to this article.

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