FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas after the United States filed criminal charges, the Office of the Attorney General of the Bahamas said on Monday.
The arrest was made based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, the U.S. attorney said. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement.
The United States is likely to request Mr. Bankman-Fried’s extradition, according to a release issued by the Bahamas attorney general. He will be held in custody by Bahamian police pursuant to the country’s extradition law, the release says.
“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,” Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.
Mr. Bankman-Fried has remained in the Bahamas since his company filed for bankruptcy. He moved FTX’s headquarters to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, from Hong Kong in 2021.
FTX experienced massive withdrawals as customers grew worried about its financial health this fall, and reports surfaced that the company had lent billions of dollars in customer assets to fund risky bets by Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund controlled by Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Mr. Bankman-Fried has made a number of public appearances in recent weeks, and he has denied knowingly commingling customer funds with FTX’s own.
Mr. Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify before Congress tomorrow in a hearing probing the collapse of FTX last month. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the company and have been in contact with company officials, the Wall Street Journal previously reported.
After President Emmanuel Macron pushed his unpopular pension bill through Parliament without a vote, demonstrations about the changes broke out again.