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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas, prosecutor says

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(NEW YORK) — Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, has been arrested in the Bahamas on criminal charges, the Bahamas Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

The arrest “followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition,” the office said.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”

A source familiar said the case could be described as a multi-count fraud indictment, although specific charges will not be unsealed until Tuesday.

Since the collapse of FTX, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have been looking at Bankman-Fried, sources have told ABC News.

The Southern District declined to comment on the arrest.

In response to the arrest announcement, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said, “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.”

“While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually, 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 added.

FTX, once a $32 billion cryptocurrency darling, filed for bankruptcy protection in November after a rival cryptocurrency exchange announced it was backing out of a plan to acquire it.

Bankman-Fried was expected to appear before Congress Tuesday to testify before the House Financial Services Committee in a hearing titled “Investigating the Collapse of FTX, Part 1.” John Ray, FTX’s new CEO guiding the company through bankruptcy proceedings, will also testify.

Bankman-Fried, in a series of tweets, had said he’s “willing to testify” after initially resisting the committee’s request.

“I still do not have access to much of my data — professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” Bankman-Fried wrote. “But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.”

Bankman-Fried, in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, denied that he knew “that there was any improper use of customer funds.”

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, Alexandra Hutzler, Kirit Radia and Mark Guarino contributed to this report.

 

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