Sam Bankman-Friedfounder of FTX and who until a few weeks ago served as its CEO, has been arrested in bahamasas reported by the authorities of said country (via CNBC). The arrest has been made after the United States government formally filed charges against the aforementioned. Therefore, they are expected to apply for their extradition so that your legal process can be carried out in North American territory. The request, in fact, will be promptly addressed by the Bahamas.
“As a result of the notification received and the material provided with it, it was deemed appropriate for the Attorney General to request the arrest of SBF [Sam Bankman-Fried] and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Law. At the time a formal request for extradition is made, The Bahamas intends to process it promptlyin accordance with the law of the Bahamas and its treaty obligations with the United States”, mentions the statement issued by Attorney General Ryan Pinder.
Now, this does not mean that the Bahamas will completely forget about Sam Bankman-Fried once the extradition is finalized. Philip Davis, the country’s Prime Minister, said that local authorities will continue to conduct an investigation about the defendant’s activities. It will be completely separate from the US inquiry and could also result in criminal charges against Bankman-Fried. The latter was summoned to testify on Tuesday, December 13, before the Financial Services Commission of the House of Representatives.
“The Bahamas and the United States have a common interest in holding accountable all persons associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and violated the law. While the United States pursues criminal charges against Bankman-Fried individually, The Bahamas will continue to its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX, with the continued cooperation of its regulatory and law enforcement partners in the United States and elsewhere.”
Sam Bankman-Fried has no escape
Despite the investigation launched by the United States, there was already sufficient evidence of Sam Bankman-Fried’s illegal practices while he was CEO of FTX. In fact, an internal investigation found that the former manager implemented a back door in the accounting system of the cryptocurrency platform. With what intention? Hide your movements. Among them, the supposed $10 billion diversion to Alameda Research, sister company of FTX. Obviously, that money belonged to the customers.
Despite the discovery, Sam Bankman-Fried has always denied making an illegal move, at least voluntarily. That did not stop various US government agencies from continuing their investigation. Last week, the House Financial Services Committee asked the FTX founder to appear for a hearing on December 13. However, at first he said that he will only testify until he understands everything that happened.
One of the pretexts he used is that a good part of his personal data was withheld. Therefore, his statement was hardly going to be useful to the authorities. “I still don’t have access to much of my professional or personal data. So there’s a limit to what I can say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like. But since the committee still thinks I’d be helpful, I’m willing to testify on day 13”, commented in Twitter.
Sam Bankman-Fried himself began to take some steps to try to protect himself. For example, the week before he announced the hiring of Mark Cohen, a well-known lawyer and former federal prosecutor. But even with a reputable defense, he won’t be spared a harsh sentence if he’s proven guilty. Experts in the matter consider that the sentence could easily exceed 20 years in prison. The key is that his illegal activity involves an amount greater than 550 million dollars, and that more than 25 people were affected.