Bankman-Fried, disgraced former CEO of FTX crypto exchange, arrested in Bahamas

The FTX Arena logo is seen where the Miami Heat basketball team plays on Nov. 12, 2022, in Miami. The former CEO of failed crypto firm FTX Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested in the Bahamas at the request of the U.S. government, the U.S. attorney’s office in New York said Monday, Dec. 12. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)

Sam Bankman-Fried, the notorious former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, has been arrested in the Bahamas, the office of the attorney general of The Bahamas said on Monday night.

The arrest was made at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a tweet also on Monday night.

Williams expects to unseal the indictment on Tuesday morning, and he “will have more to say at the time.”

The Bahamian attorney general said police made the arrest after officials received “formal notification from the United States that it… has filed criminal charges against” Bankman-Fried, and they learned that the U.S. is “likely to request his extradition.”

The office “intends to process” an extradition request “promptly,” when it is made.

In a statement, the prime minister of the Bahamas stressed the country is cooperating with law enforcement and regulators in the United States, but its own “regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX continue.”

Just one month ago, FTX, a $32 billion behemoth in virtual currencies, filed for bankruptcy after suspicions rose that it was insolvent and also moving money around illegally.

Bankman-Fried resigned hours before the bankruptcy filing and has spent the last month on a charm campaign, painting himself as a guy who let things slide and didn’t intentionally commit fraud.

He was slated to testify virtually from The Bahamas before a congressional committee on Tuesday. NPR has not confirmed if the hearing will still happen.

Bankman-Fried has denied that he has avoided coming to the United States over the last month – where there are multiple government investigations into the FTX meltdown – for fear of being arrested.

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