Sam Bankman-Fried, the founding father of failed crypto alternate FTX, was arrested within the Bahamas on Monday after US prosecutors filed prison fees towards him, in keeping with an announcement from the federal government of the Bahamas.
The Southern District of New York, which is investigating Bankman-Fried and the collapse of FTX and its sister buying and selling agency Alameda, confirmed his arrest on Twitter.
“Earlier this night, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried on the request of the US authorities, primarily based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY,” wrote US legal professional Damian Williams. “We count on to maneuver to unseal the indictment within the morning and can have extra to say at the moment.”
A consultant for Bankman-Fried’s authorized workforce didn’t instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark.
It’s unclear what fees await Bankman-Fried, the 30-year-old crypto movie star who grew to become a pariah in a single day final month as his firm suffered a liquidity disaster and filed for chapter, leaving a minimum of one million depositors unable to entry their funds.
Bankman-Fried has since sought to solid himself as a considerably hapless chief government who bought out over his skis, whereas denying accusations that he defrauded FTX’s prospects.
“I didn’t knowingly commit fraud,” he instructed the BBC over the weekend. “I didn’t need any of this to occur. I used to be definitely not almost as competent as I assumed I used to be.”
Bankman-Fried was scheduled Tuesday to seem just about earlier than the US Home Monetary Companies Committee, which is demanding solutions about how the corporate got here crashing down, ricocheting all through the digital asset ecosystem. A number of crypto corporations have halted operations, freezing buyer accounts and in some circumstances submitting for chapter themselves due to their publicity to FTX.
Additionally set to testify Tuesday was FTX’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, who took over for Bankman-Fried on November 11 and is tasked with shepherding it by means of the chapter course of.
Ray has to date painted an image of a crypto empire with just about no company controls and a surprising lack of monetary and different record-keeping.
“The scope of the investigation underway is gigantic,” Ray stated in ready remarks launched Monday forward of his testimony.
Whereas the probe isn’t accomplished, Ray stated, FTX’s collapse seems to stem from the focus of energy “within the arms of a really small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated people” who didn’t implement just about any company controls.
Ray additionally states as proven fact that “buyer belongings from FTX.com have been commingled with belongings from the Alameda buying and selling platform.” That’s a key problem for investigators, as FTX and Alameda have been, on paper, separate entities.
Bankman-Fried has denied knowingly commingling funds and sought to distance himself from the day-to-day administration of Alameda, which made numerous high-risk buying and selling methods akin to arbitrage and “yield farming,” aka investing in digital tokens that pay interest-rate-like rewards, in keeping with reporting from The Wall Avenue Journal.
He has admitted to mismanaging FTX and never paying sufficient consideration to danger.
“Look, I screwed up,” he stated on the New York Occasions’ DealBook Summit late final month. “I used to be CEO of FTX…I had a duty.”
Bankman-Fried additionally acknowledged the dearth of company controls and danger administration throughout the companies he oversaw.
“There was no one that was mainly in control of positional danger of consumers on FTX,” Bankman-Fried instructed DealBook. “And that feels fairly embarrassing on reflection.”
One of many key questions on FTX’s collapse stems from a Reuters report final month that claims Bankman-Fried constructed a “backdoor” into FTX’s accounting system, permitting him to change the corporate’s monetary information with out tripping accounting pink flags. The report stated Bankman-Fried used this “backdoor” to switch $10 billion in FTX buyer funds to Alameda, the hedge fund, and a minimum of $1 billion is now lacking.
Bankman-Fried has denied information of any such backdoor. “I don’t even know how one can code,” he instructed cryptocurrency vlogger Tiffany Fong in an interview final month.