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FTX crypto firm founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrested

December 13, 2022

The move in the Bahamas follows the filing of criminal charges by the US. FTX was one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges before it filed for bankruptcy on November 11.

Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried has said he should not be held criminally liable for the collapse of FTXImage: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Authorities in the Bahamas have arrested embattled FTX crypto exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried at the request of the US, the country's attorney general announced Monday. 

"As a result of the notification received and the material provided therewith, it was deemed appropriate for the Attorney General to seek SBF's arrest and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act," the office of The Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder said.

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams also confirmed the arrest in a Twitter post.   

"Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the US Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York," Williams said in a statement.

SEC authorized charges on Bankman-Fried

Meanwhile, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) separately authorized charges relating to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's violations of securities laws, the regulator said.

"The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately authorized charges relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws, which will be filed publicly tomorrow in the Southern District of New York," SEC official Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.

Biggest crypto bust

FTX, which had been among the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11 in one of the highest-profile crypto blowups after traders pulled $6 billion (€5.7 billion) from the platform in three days.

Bankman-Fried resigned as FTX's chief executive officer the same day as the bankruptcy filing.

In a series of interviews and public appearances in late November and December, Bankman-Fried acknowledged risk management failures but said he did not commit fraud while running the company.

FTX's demise marked the latest turmoil for the cryptocurrency industry this year. The overall crypto market has slumped amid a string of meltdowns that have taken down other key players including Voyager Digital and Celsius Network.

dh/wd (AFP, Reuters)

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