A file image shows symbols of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. EPA-EFE/FILE/Alex Hofford

Founder of bankrupt FTX held in Bahamas, awaiting likely US extradition

New York, US, Dec 13 (EFE).- The founder of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange giant FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was on Tuesday awaiting possible extradition to the United States following his arrest in the Bahamas at the request of a New York attorney. 

The 30-year-old founder and former CEO of FTX, which collapsed into bankruptcy with some $3 billion owed to creditors, was arrested late Monday for “various” financial offenses in the Bahamas and the US, the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in a statement late Monday. 

The US government is seeking criminal charges against Bankman-Fried, once a high-flier in the crypto world. 

The New York Times reports that those charges include wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering, among others.  

New York Southern District Attorney Damian Williams, who filed the arrest warrant, said the sealed indictment against Bankman-Fried was due to be unsealed Tuesday morning. 

In a statement, the Bahamian attorney general Ryan Pinder said Bankman-Fried’s “arrest followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition.”

FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 this year in a dizzying fall from grace

The new CEO of FTX, bankruptcy expert John Ray, said in a stinging court filing later that month that a “substantial portion” of the assets held by FTX may be missing or stolen. 

“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here,” he added. 

Founded in 2019, FTX exploded onto the cryptocurrency scene and ballooned to a peak value of some $32 billion with over a million users worldwide. Now in embers, the company has acknowledged some $3 billion of debt owed to 50 main creditors.EFE