Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX crypto exchange, has been arrested in the Bahamas and will face criminal charges in the US.
The US attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a tweet Monday night that an indictment has been filed under seal and that Bahamian authorities were working with them. More information on the charges is expected Tuesday, when authorities said they would move to unseal the indictment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday night that it will separately be filing charges on Tuesday in the Southern District of New York "relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried's violations of our securities laws."
In November, the FTX exchange, which had run splashy Super Bowl ads with Larry David and Tom Brady, collapsed. A report in Coindesk revealed Alameda Research, the hedge fund affiliated with FTX and run out of the same office, held a large amount of a coin made by FTX, creating concern over how liquid FTX actually was. It later was revealed that customer deposits to FTX were mixed in with Alameda, which is against standard banking practices. Customers began withdrawing their money from the exchange, sending FTX into bankruptcy. An estimated billion dollars' worth of customer funds were lost, and ripples of the collapse threaten the entire crypto ecosystem.
Bankman-Fried denied committing any fraud in an interview with CNBC last month and said he was shocked by the exchange’s collapse.
Bankman-Fried was supposed to appear before Congress on Tuesday to testify to the House Financial Services. On Monday morning, he spoke in a Twitter Space and said that he planned to appear remotely because of paparazzi concerns.
According to CNBC, officials in the Bahamas, where FTX was based, are also pursuing a criminal and regulatory investigation. Officials in the Bahamas did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News.