Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas yesterday after U.S. prosecutors filed criminal charges. The U.S. “is likely to request his extradition,” the government of the Bahamas said in a statement. An indictment will be unsealed today, U.S. prosecutors said.
The arrest was the latest stunning development in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in recent corporate history. Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify in Congress today about the collapse of FTX, a powerful cryptocurrency firm that imploded virtually overnight last month after a run on deposits exposed an $8 billion hole in its accounts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that it had authorized charges “relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws.” The charges included wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering, said a person with knowledge of the matter.
Bankman-Fried, who was the only person charged in the indictment, was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. at his apartment complex in the Albany resort in the Bahamas, according to a statement from the Bahamian police. Lawyers involved in the case expressed surprise at the suddenness of the arrest.