Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto giant FTX, was arrested in the Bahamas after American authorities filed criminal charges against him, authorities said Monday.

In a statement, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said that officers with the financial crimes unit took Bankman-Fried, 30, was into custody at his home in the capital city of Nassau shortly before 6 p.m.

He was arrested in connection with financial offenses in the United States and is expected to appear in court Tuesday, the statement said.

A separate statement from Attorney General Ryan Pinder that American authorities were expected to request his extradition.

“The Bahamas and the United States have a shared interest in holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law,” Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis said in a statement.

The statement added that while American authorities pursue criminal charges, the Bahamas is continuing a regulatory and criminal investigation into the company’s sudden collapse.

In a separate statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said it had asked Bahamian authorities to arrest Bankman-Fried based on a sealed indictment.

Authorities expect to release more information on Tuesday, the statement said.

FTX, which Bankman-Fried founded in 2019, was once seen as the face of the industry, a company worth a reported $32 billion that attracted celebrity endorsements and major sports sponsorships. 

Bankman-Fried had also become a major Democratic donor, giving nearly $40 million to federal races for the recent midterm elections.

But last month, after a crypto-focused news site published the balance sheet of an investment firm also owned by Bankman-Fried, FTX saw the equivalent of a bank run: customers and observers questioned whether its loans and investments were worth more than its debts.

They also questioned whether the company could pay people trying to withdraw funds. 

In a matter of days, Bankman-Fried resigned and the company filed for bankruptcy. Speaking at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Nov. 30, Bankman-Fried said he didn’t “try to commit fraud on anyone.”

“I had thought of myself as a model CEO, who wouldn’t become lazy or disconnected,” he said on Twitter last week. “Which made it that much more destructive when I did. I’m sorry. Hopefully people can learn from the difference between who I was and who I could have been.”

In a bankruptcy filing, the company’s new CEO, John Ray III, said that in his 40-year career he had never seen “such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information.”

Rob Wile and Ezra Kaplan contributed.


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