Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and former CEO of FTX, is facing numerous federal felonies for alleged financial crimes related to the collapse of the company.
The disheveled 30-year-old was arrested Monday night by authorities in the Bahamas after they received word from U.S. officials that charges had been filed against Bankman-Fried and that the U.S. would soon seek extradition.
The New York Times reported that Bankman-Fried is facing charges of wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering.
The charges are contained in a sealed indictment from the prosecutors for the Southern District of New York.
U.S. Attorney Damian Willams said in a statement, “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,” Williams added.
Reuters reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also authorized charges against Bankman-Fried.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission has separately authorized charges relating to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s violations of our securities laws, which will be filed publicly tomorrow in the Southern District of New York,” SEC official Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
FTX, which is headquartered in the Bahamas, was launched in 2019 and had accrued more than one million users by 2022. Users suddenly demanded $6 billion in withdrawals after an article published by CoinDesk revealed last month that the two arms of Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency empire, FTX and Alameda Research, had significant overlap on their balance sheets in the form of the cryptocurrency FTT, which FTX invented. Rival firm Binance, which had been planning to purchase FTX, announced that it would discharge all holdings in the coin and eventually reversed course on the acquisition.
After the company collapsed, Bankman-Fried went from boasting a $15.6 billion net worth to having “no material wealth” over the span of approximately two days.
Bankman-Fried was the second largest donor for Democrats this last election cycle, only behind megadonor George Soros, giving at least $38 million to leftist causes, PACs, and candidates, Fox News reported.
Politico reported that Bankman-Fried was a top resource to whom Democrats went when lawmakers began looking at ways to regulate cryptocurrencies because of “his willingness to write multimillion dollar checks to boost Democrats.”