Reports said that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been arrested by authorities in the Bahamas at the request of the US government, just a day before the disgraced former FTX CEO was due to testify before Congress.
It has been reported that Bankman-Fried was arrested by the Royal Bahamas Police Force following a formal notification from the United States government that it has filed criminal charges against him, according to a December 12 statement from the Bahamas Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Ryan Pinder.
However, citing a person with knowledge of the matter, The New York Times reported on December 12 that the charges against Bankman-Fried include wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud and money laundering. The US will likely request the extradition of Bankman-Fried, with Pinder stating that the Bahamas will “promptly” process any extradition request.
The report said that Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement that both countries have "a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law. A December 12 tweet from the US. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said authorities in the Bahamas arrested Bankman-Fried based on a sealed indictment it filed that it plans to unseal “in the morning.”
Likewise, Bloomberg reported on December 10 that prosecutors from New York, FBI agents and regulators met with FTX’s lawyers to discuss the documentation that investigators want to obtain. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) was "closely" examining whether FTX improperly transferred hundreds of millions around the same time as the company declared bankruptcy on November 11.
Bahamian authorities were similarly undertaking their own “active and ongoing” investigation into FTX as announced on November 27 by Pinder that involved the country’s Securities Commission, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the police’s financial crimes unit.
Thus, Bankman-Fried’s arrest comes a day before he was expected to appear remotely to testify before the House Committee on Financial Services in a hearing investigating the collapse of the exchange.