Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in the Bahamas, local authorities say

The Bahamas police have arrested the former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, the country’s attorney general said in a statement on Monday, adding that the Bahamas has received formal notification from the US of criminal charges against him.

Bankman-Fried had been expected on Tuesday to make his first public appearance since FTX’s collapse before US lawmakers.

Earlier in the day, he had said he would be “calling in” to the hearing before the House financial services committee from the Bahamas. In a Twitter Spaces event on Monday with Twitter account Unusual Whales, Bankman-Fried said it was difficult for him “to move right now and travel because the paparazzi effect is quite large”.

It is as yet unclear whether his appearance will go ahead following the arrest. The committee will also hear from John Ray III, FTX’s new chief executive.

Ray, a veteran bankruptcy expert who also oversaw the aftermath of the collapsed energy giant Enron, has called FTX an “unprecedented and complete failure of corporate controls” the likes of which he has not witnessed in his 40-year career.

FTX filed for US bankruptcy protection last month and Bankman-Fried resigned as chief executive, triggering a wave of public demands for greater regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.

The distressed crypto trading platform struggled to raise money to stave off collapse as traders rushed to withdraw $6bn from the platform in just 72 hours and rival exchange Binance abandoned a proposed rescue deal.

In recent weeks, US authorities have sought information from investors and potential investors in FTX, two sources with knowledge of the requests told Reuters. Prosecutors and regulators have not charged Bankman-Fried with any crime.

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