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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas after US authorities filed charges against him, authorities said Monday.

The Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement that officers from the financial crimes unit took Bankman-Fried, 30, into custody at his home in the capital, Nassau, shortly before 6 p.m.

He was arrested in connection with financial offenses in the United States and is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, the statement said.

Attorney General Ryan Pinder said in a separate statement that US authorities were expected to request his extradition.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement, “The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable any individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”[ads1];

The statement added that while US authorities are pursuing criminal charges, The Bahamas is continuing a regulatory and criminal investigation into the company’s collapse.

The U.S. attorney’s office for Southern New York said in a separate statement that it had asked Bahamian authorities to arrest Bankman-Fried based on a sealed indictment.

The authorities expect to release more information on Tuesday, the statement said.

Securities and Exchange Commission so it had approved separate charges alleging that Bankman-Fried violated the Securities Act. Those counts will be filed Tuesday in the same federal district, the agency said.

FTX, which Bankman-Fried founded in 2019, was once seen as the face of the industry, a company reported to be worth $32 billion that attracted celebrity endorsements and major sports sponsors.

Bankman-Fried also became a major Democratic donor, giving nearly $40 million in federal races in the recent midterm elections.

But last month, after a crypto-focused news site published the balance sheet of an investment firm also owned by Bankman-Fried, FTX experienced the equivalent of a bank run: Customers and observers questioned whether the loans and investments were worth more than the debt. .

They also questioned whether the company could pay people who try to withdraw money.

Within days, Bankman-Fried resigned and the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Speaking at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Nov. 30, Bankman-Fried said he was not “trying to defraud anyone.”

he said on Twitter last week: “I had thought of myself as a model boss, who wouldn’t be lazy or disconnected. Which made it that much more devastating when I did. I’m sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.”

In a bankruptcy filing, the company’s new CEO, John Ray III, said that in his 40-year career he had never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of reliable financial information.”

Rob Wile and Ezra Kaplan contributed.

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