The founder of the ill-fated cryptocurrency platform FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, arrested in the Bahamas, will be charged by the New York District Attorney’s Office on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested Tuesday in the Bahamas after U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams indicted him.
In a tweet, Williams reported that Bahamian authorities had arrested Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on “a secret indictment” filed by prosecutors about which no details were given.
The Times, citing as a source a person with knowledge in the court proceedings, revealed on Tuesday the charges for which the founder of the platform has been accused.
He further explained that Bankman-Fried cooperated during the arrest, according to a person familiar with the matter, and will spend Tuesday night in a cell at a police station. He is scheduled to appear Tuesday in the Magistrate’s Court in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.
In a statement, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said his country and the U.S. “have shared an interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public’s trust and broken the law.”
FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, and at the end of that same month the company’s new managers appeared for the first time before the bankruptcy court of the state of Delaware (USA) to begin the restructuring process.
Lawyers for the new board and its current manager, John Ray, argue that a “substantial amount” of the company’s assets may have been stolen or are missing.
The new managers have also denounced that the company had a “total absence of corporate controls” and a lack of “reliable financial information”.
The platform, which was once valued at $32 billion, could have more than a million creditors worldwide. So far, the company has admitted it owes more than $3 billion to its top 50 creditors.
However, Bankman-Fried blames the bankruptcy in part on the massive cryptocurrency sale that occurred earlier in the year. For the founder of the company, that sale halved the FTX guarantee, of about 30,000 million dollars.
At that point, according to Bankman-Fried, the sale of cryptocurrencies continued, combined with a credit crunch and a “bank flight,” which reduced the collateral to $9 billion before FTX filed for bankruptcy.