“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”
Sam Bankman-Fried has done several media interviews since his firm collapsed but has not publicly testified about what happened. He was expected to appear remotely from the Bahamas.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, when the firm ran out of money after the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run. The collapse of crypto’s second-largest exchange has garnered worldwide attention, and Bankman-Fried is under criminal investigation by U.S. and Bahamian authorities.
Bankman-Fried, in previous trips to Congress, testified in favor of certain bills that would regulate the crypto industry in ways that favored FTX. He became prominent in Washington and donated millions of dollars toward mostly left-leaning political causes and Democrat political campaigns, and was hailed as the new face of the crypto industry.
A handful of members of the Financial Services Committee have previously taken political donations from FTX or Bankman-Fried, including Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. and Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y.