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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Will the Bahamas Government Convict Sam Bankman-Fried of a Crime?

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Though prosecutors in the United States have charged former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and violations of campaign finance law, the Bahamas has yet to convict the 30-year-old of a single crime.

Bankman-Fried lived in the Bahamas since 2021, after establishing the headquarters of his billion-dollar company in the country after the move from Hong Kong, China. He became a generous donor and was the face of the Bahamas’ future investment in the crypto industry.

The permanent resident was given the approval to set up the exchange here. But the alleged crimes were committed under the noses of the regulatory body, the Securities Commission Bahamas.

Three weeks ago, before the US charges were filed, Attorney General Ryan Pinder in a televised national address announced that the Commission and the Royal Bahamas Police Force were investigating Bankman-Fried’s handling of customer funds in FTX.

From that day to this, no charges have been filed. Neither has it been stated whether or not they found any sign of wrongdoing at the exchange.

However, unsealed court documents in the US, revealed that the former co-CEO at FTX Digital Markets Ryan Salame, tipped off the executive director of the Securities Commission of the Bahamas, Christine Rolle, and informed her that the fallen crypto-knight possibly committed fraud when he funneled billions of dollars from FTX to Alameda Research.

Rolle then alerted Bahamas Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander for an investigation into the matter. Still no word from the Commissions or the police force.

Bankman-Fried was arrested last week Monday in the Bahamas at the request of the US government based on an extradition treaty between the two countries. The US has since provided sufficient evidence that he committed a crime in their country.

 

Photo credit: Reuters

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