Home Wealth Management Sam Bankman-Fried Accused of Fraud by SEC After Bahamas Arrest

Sam Bankman-Fried Accused of Fraud by SEC After Bahamas Arrest

Sam Bankman-Fried Accused of Fraud by SEC After Bahamas Arrest


(Bloomberg) — Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced co-founder of digital-asset alternate FTX, was accused by US regulators of orchestrating a multi-year fraud towards traders — one which helped help his lavish way of life.  

Bankman-Fried, who had been residing in an expansive penthouse on the island, was arrested on Monday night within the Bahamas after US prosecutors filed a prison indictment. The arrest adopted weeks of hypothesis about the potential misuse of consumer funds. He’ll be arraigned within the island nation on Tuesday, and faces an extradition course of as soon as federal prosecutors in Manhattan unseal their costs. 

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen of Cohen & Gresser, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark exterior regular enterprise hours.

Bankman-Fried diverted billions of {dollars} of buyer funds to assist develop his different entities, based on the SEC’s civil criticism filed Tuesday additionally in New York’s Southern District court docket. Wall Avenue’s predominant regulator alleged that FTX raised greater than $1.8 billion, together with $1.1 billion from about 90 US-based traders, in an “orchestrated scheme to defraud fairness traders” who purchased in based mostly on the idea that FTX had acceptable controls.

“We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried constructed a home of playing cards on a basis of deception whereas telling traders that it was one of many most secure buildings in crypto,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler mentioned in an announcement. 

Learn extra: 

Learn the complete SEC criticism right here

Learn the DOJ indictment right here

Learn the CFTC’s allegations right here

Bankman-Fried misled traders, telling them that FTX had refined threat controls and that their belongings have been safe, based on the SEC. As an alternative he was utilizing their cash as a “just about limitless line of credit score” for buying and selling agency Alameda Analysis, which Bankman-Fried additionally based. The SEC claimed that, from the beginning, Bankman-Fried diverted buyer belongings to Alameda to make undisclosed investments, political donations and lavish actual property buys. The SEC additionally alleged that Bankman-Fried hid dangers and obscured FTX’s relationship with the buying and selling agency.

The CFTC is bringing costs towards SBF, FTX and Alameda for fraud of digital commodity belongings, an individual acquainted mentioned.

Greater than 100 FTX-related entities, together with Alameda, filed for US chapter protections on Nov. 11. The prison and civil costs filed up to now have targeted fully on Bankman-Fried, which raises questions on whether or not different former FTX and Alameda executives have been cooperating with prosecutors.  


The White Home declined to touch upon the arrest and costs.

The Home Monetary Companies Committee, which had scheduled a listening to into FTX’s collapse for Tuesday, continues to be planning to go forward with the proceedings although Bankman-Fried will now not be capable to attend. “It’s vital for the American public to grasp FTX and what was happening,” Chairwoman Maxine Waters mentioned on Monday night time following his arrest. 

Bankman-Fried, 30, is being held on the Cable Seaside police station in Nassau, based on an officer working on the facility. The individual, who declined to present a reputation when reached by cellphone, mentioned that every one the cells there are “snug” however didn’t present particulars.

The ability is about 13 miles from the Albany Bahamas luxurious group the place Bankman-Fried lives, and is positioned near a predominant vacationer zone.

Media Interviews

In media interviews since FTX’s collapse, Bankman-Fried has admitted main managerial missteps, however has additionally claimed that he by no means tried to commit fraud or break the legislation.

In draft remarks ready for the US Home listening to and obtained by Bloomberg Information previous to his arrest, he supplied a blunt evaluation of his plight. 

“I wish to begin by formally stating underneath oath: I f—-ked up,” Bankman-Fried wrote within the draft.

He added that the corporate’s new managers, led by restructuring professional John J. Ray III, have repeatedly rebuffed his gives to assist sift by way of the wreckage of the collapsed crypto empire. Ray, who’s now main the corporate, hasn’t responded to 5 of his emails, he mentioned. Ray continues to be scheduled to testify on the listening to on Tuesday

In remarks ready for the Home listening to, Ray blamed FTX’s collapse on the failures of its earlier leaders.

“The FTX Group’s collapse seems to stem from absolutely the focus of management within the arms of a really small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated people,” Ray mentioned within the written testimony launched Monday upfront of the listening to. The prior administration “did not implement just about any of the programs or controls which can be crucial for a corporation that’s entrusted with different individuals’s cash or belongings.”

Crypto Exchanges

Previous to the arrest and lengthy earlier than his empire collapsed out of business, federal prosecutors in Manhattan had already been wanting into FTX as a part of broader sweep of exchanges and potential anti-money laundering violations underneath the Financial institution Secrecy Act.

The investigation, led by the Complicated Frauds and Cybercrime Unit, took a unique trajectory after FTX’s catastrophic implosion.

Prosecutors have been intently analyzing whether or not a whole bunch of tens of millions of {dollars} have been improperly transferred to the Bahamas across the time of FTX’s Nov. 11 chapter submitting in Delaware, based on an individual acquainted with the matter.

They have been additionally digging into whether or not FTX broke the legislation by transferring funds to Alameda Analysis, the bankrupt funding agency additionally based by Bankman-Fried, Bloomberg reported beforehand.

Final week, prosecutors, the FBI, Division of Justice officers and FTX’s new CEO and restructuring professional Ray met at SDNY’s headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Potential costs weren’t mentioned at that assembly, based on an individual acquainted with the dialog.

–With help from Joanna Ossinger and Beth Williams.



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