FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fries has been arrested by authorities in The Bahamas. The development was confirmed in an official Twitter post by the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. Damian Williams. According to Williams, the US plans to unseal the indictment against the FTX founder later this morning.
According to reports, the US investigators have already filed criminal charges against SBF. Some of these charges include wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering. Recall that the fall of FTX has continued to impact the industry. Notably, the crisis began after a leaked balanced sheet of Alameda Research showed that the firm tied up billions of dollars of its assets in FTX native token, FTT. Interestingly, the same SBF founded Alameda Research, a quantitative trading firm. This revelation informed the decision by Binance to liquidate its entire holding of the FTX token. Further, this revelation compelled many investors to seek withdrawal of their assets from FTX. This thus prone the crypto exchange into bankruptcy and plunged its token by 95%. As of press time, over $8 billion in customer funds is missing, leaving investors in a state of disarray.
This development consequently prompted investigations by various authorities, particularly in the US. A few days ago, the US senate committee on banking, housing and urban affairs penned a public letter to the FTX founder, asking him to take part in an upcoming congressional hearing. The hearing, according to the chairman of the committee, Sherrod Brown is expected to unfold tomorrow, December 14. However, as of press time, SBF failed to respond to the request.
Bahamas expecting an extradition request for the arrested FTX founder
Now, occasioned by his arrest in Bahamas, the FTX founder seems unlikely to appear in tomorrow’s congressional hearing. However, Bahamas expects authorities in US to submit an extradition request for the arrested FTX founder very soon. The prime minister of Bahamas, Philip Davis said the country and the US shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX. According to Davis, these individuals allegedly betrayed public trust and defiled the law.
The Prime minister further that the pursuit of criminal charges against SBF won’t deter Bahamas from continuing its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX. Davis, however, seeks the cooperation of Bahamas’ law enforcement agencies and regulatory partners in the US in unraveling the mystery.
Meanwhile, following the crisis befalling FTX, many regulators have began to clamp down on its subsidiaries. In Bahamas, its regulator, SCB froze the assets of FTX subsidiary in the country. Further, the regulator terminated the registration of the exchange. A few days later, the financial regulator in Australia suspended the financial service license of FTX.