Sam Bankman-Fried arrest: Disgraced FTX crypto exchange founder detained in Bahamas at US request

 (Getty Images for CARE For Specia)
(Getty Images for CARE For Specia)

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been arrested in the Bahamas at the request of the US government, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has announced.

In a tweet, the SDNY said: “USA Damian Williams: Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”

The arrest came just a day before Mr Bankman-Fried had been set to testify voluntarily before Congress about the failure of his crypto exchange.

Mr Bankman-Fried took to Twitter last week to say that he was “willing to testify” for the House Financial Services Committee on 13 December, but was doing it remotely and not back on US soil.

“I still do not have access to much of my data – professional or personal. So there is a limit to what I will be able to say, and I won’t be as helpful as I’d like,” he added.

“But as the committee still thinks it would be useful, I am willing to testify on the 13th.”

He said that he will “try to be helpful during the hearing” and give the committee information on FTX US’s “solvency and American customers”, “pathways that could return value to users internationally” and “my own failings.”

His offer to testify comes after a string of requests from lawmakers, including Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

“I had thought of myself as a model CEO, who wouldn’t become lazy or disconnected. Which made it that much more destructive when I did,” added 30-year-old Mr Bankman-Fried.

“I’m sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.”

FTX collapsed after users withdrew around $5bn worth of crypto assets in a single day.