Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested
For weeks, the crypto world and the public at large have been fascinated by the saga of FTX. Once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX collapsed following a liquidity crisis, leaving at least a million creditors with billions of dollars still unreturned and a slew of bankrupted companies in its wake.
Finally, after much back and forth, along with bizarre statements, Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has been arrested. According to reports, this arrest took place in the company’s home base of the Bahamas and Bankman-Fried is facing both the Bahamian courts and possible extradition to the United States.
The arrest in question took place on December 12, 2022, and the Bahamian attorney-general confirmed this.
“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the US Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” the attorney-general said.
It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried is the only person associated with FTX to be arrested so far and is facing charges of financial crimes in both the Bahamas and the United States. The former had opened an investigation into the FTX saga a few weeks ago, during which authorities assured the public that any wrongdoing would be prosecuted. In the latter, Bankman-Fried is facing charges of having duped investors to the tune of $1.8 billion.
Currently, the former CEO is being held in Bahamian custody, though there are calls for his extradition to the United States to stand trial. While extraditing him will likely take some time, it is clear that authorities in several countries intend to make him pay for his crimes.
In a public statement, Gurbir Grewal, an official with the Securities and Exchange Commission, noted that “We commend our law enforcement partners for working to secure the arrest of Mr Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas on federal criminal charges,” and also added that, The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately authorised 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.”
In the wake of the FTX collapse and several accusations, Bankman-Fried had seemed relatively calm. He made public statements (to the chagrin of his former lawyer who fired him as a client) and even defended himself, saying that he did not mean to defraud anyone.
Now, Bankman-Fried will have to defend himself in a court of law and could face years in prison if found guilty. One person who is not too pleased with his arrest is US Congresswoman Maxine Waters given the fact that Bankman-Fried was supposed to virtually speak with the US House of Representatives financial services committee regarding the FTX collapse.
“Although Mr Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many,” she said.