Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, has been arrested in The Bahamas after US prosecutors formally filed criminal charges against him.
According to a statement from the government of the Bahamas, SBF was arrested on Monday following the “receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition.”
The government of The Bahamas noted that if the US government make a request for extradition, they would process it “promptly.”
The Southern District of New York, which is investigating Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda, confirmed his arrest on Twitter.
“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the US government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY,” tweeted US attorney Damian Williams. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”
Shortly after SBF’s arrest was made public, the official Twitter account of the Securities and Exchange Commission praised law enforcement for “securing the arrest” of SBF and that they had authorized separate charges relating to Bankman-Fried’s “violations of securities laws,” which will be filed publicly on Tuesday.
As reported, SBF was expected to participate in the upcoming U.S. House committee’s hearing today and testify on the collapse of his crypto empire. However, following his arrest, the crypto boss would not be able to attend the hearing.
In a statement, the Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters said she was disappointed the SBF would not be appearing at the hearing tomorrow.
“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, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many,” she said. “The public has been waiting eagerly to get these answers under oath before Congress, and the timing of this arrest denies the public this opportunity.”
Waters added that the committee would still hear from the exchange’s new CEO, John Ray III, a bankruptcy expert who previously oversaw the aftermath of the collapsed energy giant Enron.
SBF, who recently invited the BBC to his mansion in The Bahamas, told the media that he hopes to start a new business and earn enough money to pay back victims of the collapse.
He also denied fraud allegations, saying, “I didn’t knowingly commit fraud, I don’t think I committed fraud, I didn’t want any of this to happen. I was certainly not nearly as competent as I thought I was.”