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The founder of the cryptocurrency exchange was arrested hours after he said he would testify before the US Congress.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crashed crypto exchange FTX, has been arrested in the Bahamas after prosecutors in the United States filed criminal charges against him.
Bankman-Fried was arrested by authorities in the Caribbean nation after US prosecutors informed them they had filed charges and would likely request his extradition, the Attorney General’s Office said. The Bahamas said in a statement Monday.
The United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York confirmed Bankman-Fried’s arrest but declined to comment on the nature of the charges.
“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the United States Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York,” the statement said. Prosecutor Damian Williams said in a statement.
“We are expected to proceed with the unsealing of the indictment in the morning and will have much to say by that time.”
The charges against Bankman-Fried include wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering, the New York Times reported, citing a source. anonymous informants have knowledge of the matter.
Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bankman-Fried’s arrest comes just hours after he said that on Tuesday he would testify remotely about the collapse of FTX before the US Congress.
FTX filed for bankruptcy protection last month following the collapse of an acquisition deal involving rival exchange Binance. The collapse of the crypto exchange, which was worth $32 billion at its peak, sent shockwaves throughout the crypto sector, triggering mass layoffs and accusations of fraud.
Bankman-Fried, once ranked as the world’s second-richest person behind Mark Zuckerberg, has admitted to making “a lot of mistakes” in handling the collapse but deny any fraudulent intent.