Federal prosecutors in the United States have filed charges in New York against the creator of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in the Bahamas.
According to a sealed indictment submitted by the SDNY, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried earlier this evening at the request of the US government, according to a tweet from US Attorney Damian Williams. We plan to unseal the indictment the next morning and will have more to say then.
The particular charges were kept a secret. Bankman-Fried was detained, however, due to “several financial offenses against laws of the United States, which are also offenses against laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” according to a news statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force. According to the press statement, Bankman-Fried will appear in the local court on Tuesday.
The third-largest exchange by volume was FTX, a multinational organization with more than 130 affiliates that allowed private investors to trade cryptocurrencies. Celebrities from the public eye starred in the company’s ads, and an NBA arena and MLB umpire uniforms also had the emblem.
This story was initially reported by Coindesk and The New York Times.
Bankman-Fried was supposed to testify before Congress on Tuesday morning, but Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, says that appearance won’t take place.
Waters questioned the arrest’s timing.
when Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested, he was detained in the Bahamas on the orders of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which startled Waters. “It’s about time the legal process to prosecute Mr. Bankman-Fried got underway. But as the general public is aware, my team and I have been working hard over the past month to obtain Mr. Bankman-testimony. Fried’s.
While Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, she continued, “The American public needs to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that have hurt over one million people and destroyed the hard-earned life savings of so many. The timing of this arrest deprives the public of the opportunity to learn these answers when being sworn in before Congress.
In a recent tweet, Bankman-Fried stated that he will make an effort to explain what caused the crypto exchange to crash as well as his own shortcomings as the former CEO.
“I still can’t access a lot of my data, either personal or professional. So I won’t be as helpful as I’d like, and there are limits to what I can say,” Bankman-Fried wrote on Twitter. I’ll make an effort to be helpful throughout the hearing.
Mark Botnick, Bankman-spokesperson, Fried’s did not respond right away to USA TODAY’s questions. Earlier in the day, Botnick acknowledged that white-collar criminal defense lawyer Mark S. Cohen was defending the FTX founder; however, Cohen did not immediately answer USA TODAY’s inquiries.
In a press release, Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder stated that Bankman-Fried was detained “pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act” after being apprehended at approximately 6 p.m. local time.
the two nations “have a shared interest in holding responsible all people affiliated with FTX who may have abused the public trust and broken the law,” according to Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis.
“The Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX, with the continued cooperation of its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere,” he said. “While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually.”
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which enforces civil regulations, and the U.S. Department of Justice, which has the authority to file criminal charges, have both opened investigations into FTX, according to numerous news outlets. Regulators from several countries and states have also expressed worry about the business.
Early in November, Bankman-Fried announced his resignation as CEO of FTX after discovering that the company would not be able to refund all of the exchange clients who requested their money back. In bankruptcy documents, the company claimed that more than 1 million consumers may be impacted.
According to Yesha Yadav, a law professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, FTX expanded because it attracted regular people looking to invest in cryptocurrencies but who didn’t want to cope with the complicated procedure that frequently goes along with trade.
According to Yadav, bitcoin merchants used to need to download particular software before locating a buyer for their money. According to her, a user would place an order on an exchange like FTX and essentially receive an IOU for the cryptocurrency they purchased. That’s great from the standpoint of the user experience, she remarked.
It was highly valued because it guaranteed safety, according to Yadav. Consumer safety and cutting-edge products were promised but without some of the riskier characteristics of cryptocurrencies.
Since Bankman-resignation, Fried’s firm has been led by John J. Ray III, a 40-year insolvency veteran who also handled Enron during its bankruptcy owing to accounting fraud.
In written testimony submitted on Tuesday to the House Committee on Financial Services, he stated that instances of corporate failure and claims of criminal activity have many things in common, including “gross mismanagement, excessive leverage, failures of internal controls, failures of external checks as a result of audit firm failures, or inadequate board governance.”
However, he continued, “Never in my experience have I witnessed such a comprehensive failure of corporate controls at every level of an organization, from the absence of financial statements to a complete collapse of any internal controls or governance whatsoever.”