"We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a press release. "The alleged fraud committed by Mr. Bankman-Fried is a clarion call to crypto platforms that they need to come into compliance with our laws."
The SEC's complaint says that Bankman-Fried defrauded equity investors out of $1.8 billion.
The SEC said in its indictment, "Unbeknownst to those investors (and to FTX’s trading customers), Bankman-Fried was orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire."
Bankman-Fried was taken into custody one day before he was set to provide a digital testimony to US Congress. A statement released Monday night confirmed that The Bahamas arrested him following the receipt of "formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition."
The Prime Minister of the Bahamas released a comment after the arrest, saying "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. While the United States is pursuing criminal charges against SBF individually, The Bahamas will continue its own regulatory and criminal investigations into the collapse of FTX, with the continued cooperation of its law enforcement and regulatory partners in the United States and elsewhere."
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