Sam Bankman-Fried, the ex-CEO of defunct cryptocurrency company FTX, has been arrested in the Bahamas, authorities said Monday.
The office of the attorney general of the Bahamas said in an announcement that it will extradite Bankman-Fried to the United States, where he is wanted on unspecified criminal charges, as soon as a formal request is made.
“The Bahamas and 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,” Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.
Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced shortly after the arrest that his office expects to unseal its indictment involving Bankman-Fried on Tuesday morning.
Bankman-Fried, 30, served as the CEO of the massive cryptocurrency exchange FTX until last month, when the company suddenly imploded and filed for bankruptcy protection. Following complaints that he misused billions in customers’ money, multiple U.S. regulatory agencies launched investigations into his dealings in the largely unregulated cryptocurrency industry.
News of his arrest in the Bahamas comes the same day that new FTX CEO John J. Ray III, who also oversaw Enron’s bankruptcy in the early 2000s, gave a statement outlining his predecessor’s “unacceptable management practices.” Among them was a company “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.
The campaign finance watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington also recently filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Bankman-Fried of breaking federal laws by using dark money groups to hide millions in campaign donations to Republicans in the lead-up to the 2022 primaries.