FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been taken into custody in the Bahamas after US authorities filed criminal charges against him.
According to a statement from Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder, the US filed unspecified criminal charges against Bankman-Fried and was “likely to request his extradition.”
Bankman-Fried’s arrest marks the first charges following the downfall of FTX last month.
In a statement, Bahamian 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,” the statement continued.
As previously reported by The Counter Signal, FTX filed for bankruptcy in early November after halting withdrawals.
The bankruptcy filings followed reports from CoinDesk claiming the balance sheet of Alameda, a crypto hedge fund owned by Bankman-Fried, held billions of dollars worth of FTX’s cryptocurrency, FTT, which it was using to gamble.
Alameda Research is a cryptocurrency trading firm based in Hong Kong founded by Bankman-Fried.
The revelations spooked investors who made the connection between the two firms and started pulling funds off the FTX exchange and panic-selling FTT tokens. As users rushed to withdraw funds, Bankman-Fried halted withdrawals when roughly $5 billion worth of withdrawal requests hit FTX.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) lost a multi-million dollar investment.
Last year, through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) arm, the OTPP participated in a US $420 million funding round for FTX Trading Ltd., owner and operator of FTX.COM, a leading global cryptocurrency exchange.
Early this year, they also joined other institutional investors in raising US $400 million, which increased the company’s valuation to a whopping US $32 billion. Simultaneously, the OTPP invested even more funds into FTX US, the U.S.-based crypto exchange, then valued at US $8 billion.
FTX was the only cryptocurrency exchange listed on the WEF website until it was suddenly removed after filing for bankruptcy. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was also a speaker at Davos last May.