Saturday, September 30, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried Faces US Extradition After Arrest in the Bahamas

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FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is facing extradition to the United States after his arrest in the Bahamas following mounting claims of misappropriation of billions of dollars of customer funds on his crypto platform.

The surprising news came late Tuesday evening after the Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder issued a statement confirming the disgraced crypto wunderkind is under arrest in the country where FTX was headquartered before its collapse on November 11.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said, “The Bahamas and the United States have shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”

It became apparent that the United States filed criminal charges against Bankman-Fried after ramping up its investigations into the alleged lost funds and reports of fraud at the crypto exchange that fell rapidly.

Criminal charges were filed in a New York courtroom and prosecutors are expected to unseal documents on Tuesday. But someone familiar with the matter told New York Times, the charges against Bankman-Fried include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

Bankman-Fried allegedly funneled customer monies from FTX once valued at $32 billion, to his sister company Alameda. Despite his downfall, Bankman-Fried continued his media tours in which he detailed FTX’s accounting errors.

It’s important to note that the Bahamas is conducting its own investigations. At the end of last month, Pinder said the Bahamas Securities Commission and the Royal Bahamas Police Force were probing the allegations of fraud by Bankman-Fried.

Davis said on Monday night, “While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually, the Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX with the continued cooperation of its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere.”

The AG Office said it awaits a formal request for extradition from the US and will “process it promptly, pursuant of the Bahamian law and its treaty obligations with the United States.”

The arrest comes after Bankman-Fried finally agreed to testify on Tuesday before the Finance Committee on Capitol Hill about how events unfolded at the exchange.

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