It has been nearly a month since the collapse of the second largest crypto exchange FTX and the former CEO Sam bank man -Fried, has been overbooked with online interviews from his residency in the Bahamas.
Finally, a statement released yesterday from the authorities of the Bahamas said that the former CEO of the now-failed exchange FTX has been arrested.
On 12 December 2022, the Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas is announcing the arrest by The Royal Bahamas Police Force of Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”), former CEO of FTX. pic.twitter.com/CRNeLPAbVp
— Latrae L. Rahming (DOC)?? (@latraelrahming) December 12, 2022
This comes after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, has pressed chargers against Sam and a request for extradition will probably follow.
USA Damian Williams: 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 SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 12, 2022
According to New York Times SBF has been charged with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
The “Bankman” arrest comes just one day before the testimony before the congress about the failure of FTX exchange that lost billions in user funds.
After the news that Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas, Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement:
“I am surprised to hear that Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas at the direction of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It’s about time the process to bring Mr. Bankman-Fried to justice has begun. However, as the public knows, my staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony before our Committee tomorrow morning. We received confirmation this afternoon from Mr. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers that he was still planning to appear before the Committee tomorrow, but then he was arrested.
“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many. The public has been waiting eagerly to get these answers under oath before Congress, and the timing of this arrest denies the public this opportunity. While I am disappointed that we will not be able to hear from Mr. Bankman-Fried tomorrow, we remain committed to getting to the bottom of what happened, and the Committee looks forward to beginning our investigation by hearing from Mr. John Ray III tomorrow.”
It was unclear if Sam was going to the congress hearing or maybe he intended to appear before the congress online. However the head of the House Financial Services Committee seems not very happy with the us prosecutors decision just one day before the hearing.
Sam appeared in a Twitter space with Unusual Whales just hours before the arrest. Some parts of the interview are trascripted below.
Q: The money was never properly moved to FTX customer accounts correct?
SBF: The ledger entries properly, I don’t know that the assets were moved over
Q: So it sounds to me the answer is probably no
SBF: That very well might be right.
Q: In your opinion, does allowing users and all accounts to withdraw funds that may not have been theirs but another’s customers constitute a problem?
SBF: Uh…It’s a good question.
Q: Because customer funds and deposits were not backed 1 to 1, can you confirm with us whether tokenized shares of $AMC, $GME and others were backed one to one?
SBF: To my knowledge they were. But I want to get you a better answer to that question.
Q: Sam, are you playing videogames right now?
SBF: *clicks* yes.
Q: I find it incredibly disrespectful that you are playing videogames while talking to us…
SBF: … do you have a question?
Q: Why was the Block being funded?
SBF: I don’t have details.
The full interview can be found here.
I have to admit it would have been fun seeing SBF testimony before the Congress online while he plays League of Legends and responds to the Committee questions.