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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas

Bankman-Fried was arrested after U.S. authorities filed criminal charges, the country's attorney general said.
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency giant FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas after U.S. authorities filed criminal charges against him, authorities said Monday.

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

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

Attorney General Ryan Pinder said in a separate statement that U.S. 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 all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law."

The statement added that while U.S. authorities pursue 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.

Authorities expect to release more information Tuesday, the statement said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had authorized separate charges alleging Bankman-Fried violated securities law. 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 sponsorships. 

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 its loans and investments were worth more than its debts.

They also questioned whether the company could pay people trying to withdraw funds. 

In a matter of 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 didn’t “try to commit fraud on anyone.”

He said on Twitter last week: "I had thought of myself as a model CEO, who wouldn’t become lazy or disconnected. Which made it that much more destructive 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 trustworthy financial information.”