Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), who some have dubbed “Sam Bankrun-Fraud,” was arrested in the Bahamas on Monday after the U.S. filed criminal charges that it expects to unseal Tuesday morning. The disgraced founder of crypto exchange FTX (one of the world’s largest) will likely be extradited to the U.S.
SBF was supposed to testify before Congress this morning (Tuesday) regarding last month’s collapse of FTX, which cost unsuspecting customers billions. It is not known if he will still testify.
The arrest was made based on a sealed indictment filed by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. In a statement Monday evening, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”
In addition to the criminal charges, the SEC filed a civil complaint against SBF, accusing him of “orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX” and seeking to ban him from the cryptocurrency industry.
In a statement, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said, “We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto. The alleged fraud committed by Mr. Bankman-Fried is a clarion call to crypto platforms that they need to come into compliance with our laws.”
All of this will be cold comfort for the roughly one million FTX customers and the hundreds of businesses that have been decimated by SBF’s alleged fraudulent activities. In truth, the impact of the FTX collapse has not yet been fully calculated. SBF spread a lot of other people’s money around without their consent, and while there may be a way to forensically find and return some of the fiat currency to customers and investors (think Madoff), there’s not much that can be done to recover the crypto.
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