Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in The Bahamas

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Bahamian authorities have arrested disgraced former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried at the request of the US government, according to the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, Latrae Rahming.

Bankman-Fried will be held in custody in accordance with the Bahamas Extradition Act, according to a document from the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs.

Rahming’s office could not be reached by phone, and did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Royal Bahamas Police Force officers arrested Bankman-Fried shortly after 6:00 p.m. ET at his apartment complex, Nassau Police Headquarters said in a statement shared with Blockworks. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement, “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.”

Members of the public whose assets are now part of bankruptcy proceedings in multiple jurisdictions may welcome accountability, but they are no closer to seeing the return of funds lost on the exchange.

“The resolution of this matter will be an important step in the maturation of the digital asset industry and will hopefully serve as a catalyst for congress to develop laws to effectively regulate the industry,” Jeffrey Blockinger, General Counsel at Quadrata, a blockchain identity platform, told Blockworks.

The arrest comes as a result of a sealed indictment filed by the Southern District of New York (SDNY), according to a tweet citing a statement by US Attorney Damian Williams.

Followers of the FTX saga were eager to hear from the former CEO, who was expected to testify remotely in a Congressional hearing scheduled for Tuesday. Bankman-Fried revealed he was still in the Bahamas, while answering questions on a Twitter space, Monday. It’s not yet known whether he will be called to testify after his arrest.

Bankman-Fried had been asked by the Senate Banking Committee to testify at a Wednesday hearing about his collapsed company, but refused to do so, according to the committee. Pat Toomey and Sen. Sherrod Brown threatened to Subpoena Bankman-Fried if he opted not to appear.

Bankman-Fried will be represented in court by former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of New York Mark S. Cohen.

This story was last updated on Dec. 12, 2022, at 9:40 p.m. ET.

Ornella Hernandez contributed reporting.

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