Weeks after FTX and Alameda Research’s collapse, Bahamian authorities have arrested the exchange’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman Fried (SBF).
According to a statement from the attorney general of the Bahamas- Sen. Ryan Pinder, SBF was arrested on December 12 by the Royal Bahamas Police Force following receipt of a sealed indictment filed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) saying that criminal charges had been filed against SBF in the US.
“As a result of the notification received and the material provided therewith, it was deemed appropriate for the Attorney General to seek SBF’s arrest and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act,” read the statement. The AG also noted that they would hand over SBF to the US should an extradition request be sent in.
Commenting on the arrest, Bahamas prime minister Philip Davis said they would continue pursuing individuals associated with FTX based on the countries’ shared interest in fighting crime.
“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,” he wrote in a note.
SBF’s arrest comes amid heightened calls for his apprehension by the crypto community after the disgraced businessman escaped to the Bahamas following the collapse of FTX. Today, Dec 13, SBF was scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee alongside FTX’s new CEO John J. Ray to shed more light on what led to the giant exchange’s collapse.
Before his arrest, SBF confirmed on Monday on Twitter Spaces that he planned on testifying at the meeting via video from his location in the Bahamas. However, following the arrest, it was not clear whether SBF would still be able to attend the meeting at press time.
Meanwhile, as the crypto community welcome the news of SBF’s arrest, attention now turns to Alameda ex-CEO Caroline Ellison. Alameda Research, the sister trading firm of FTX, has been accused of being used to siphon User funds from FTX, channelling them to various investments and other uses.
According to Tuesday’s testimony of John Raym, which is now public, customer assets from FTX were commingled with assets from the Alameda trading platform. He also noted that “the FTX Group went on a spending binge in late 2021 through 2022, during which approximately $5 billion was spent buying a myriad of businesses and investments, many of which may be worth only a fraction of what was paid for them.”
While Ellison remains at large, it is believed that she could be in the U.S. after an unverified photo of her making an order in a New York café surfaced earlier this month. Late last week, she hired a legal team which included a top SEC official and a lawyer who investigated the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme raising speculations she could be looking to cut a deal with US authorities.