By KEN SWEET
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — The former CEO of failed cryptocurrency firm FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been arrested in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, the U.S. and Bahamian authorities said Monday.
Bankman-Fried had been under criminal investigation by U.S. and Bahamian authorities following the collapse last month of FTX. The firm filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, when it ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.
“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”
Bankman-Fried’s arrest comes just a day before he was due to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee, along with the company’s current CEO, John Ray III.
Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder said the Bahamas would “promptly” extradite Bankman-Fried to the U.S. once the indictment is unsealed and U.S. authorities make a formal request. Meanwhile Bahamian authorities plan to continue their own investigation into Bankman-Fried.
“The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law,” said Bahamian Prime Minister Phillip Davis, in a statement.
Bankman-Fried said recently that he did not “knowingly” misuse customers’ funds, and said he believes his millions of angry customers will eventually be made whole.
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