Damien Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the investigation that led to the charges against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, had been “very, very fast” but that prosecutors were “not done” with the arrests.
In a press conference broadcast live on December 13, Williams said the timing of Bankman-Fried’s arrest had been based on advances by law enforcement, which authorized the charges on December 7 and indicted the former FTX CEO on December 9, leading to his execution. of an order in the Bahamas on December 12. An eight-count indictment released on December 13 revealed that US authorities alleged that Bankman-Fried had defrauded clients and investors in FTX, defrauded lenders in Alameda and violated campaign finance laws with contributions to Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
“Bankman-Fried knowingly defrauded FTX clients by misappropriating client deposits to pay expenses and debts of a different company,” The deputy director responsible for the FBI, Michael Driscoll, declared at the same press conference. “In addition, Bankman-Fried executed deliberate transactions designed to conceal and disguise the misuse of client funds. He took advantage of his clients, the victims in this case, abusing the trust placed not only in his company but in himself as its leader.”
There will be a press conference today at 2 pm to announce the indictment of Samuel Bankman-Fried, founder of the now-bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange. The press conference will be live streamed at https://t.co/n1wN6uglOD pic.twitter.com/w3WetP45E6
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 13, 2022
Williams said the investigation into the FTX collapse was ongoing, hinting at additional announcements about potential arrests in the future. He asked people who may have been involved in alleged illegal actions at FTX and Alameda to “come see us before we come see you.”
“You can commit fraud in shorts and a t-shirt”, Williams said in response to a reporter’s question about whether Bankman-Fried fit the profile of a fraudster. “We are not done. The extradition is ongoing in the Bahamas.”
“This has been one of the largest financial frauds in the history of the United States.”
Complaints filed on December 13 by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission followed the indictment against Bankman-Fried. The former FTX CEO was expected to testify before the House Finance Committee on December 13, before his arrest was announced. US lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee will also discuss the FTX collapse at a hearing on December 14.
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