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Sam Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas, prosecutor says

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of cryptocurrency giant FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, has been arrested in the Bahamas on criminal charges, the Bahamas Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.

The arrest “follows receipt of official notification from the United States that they have filed criminal charges against SBF and are likely to seek his extradition,” the office said.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “Earlier tonight, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the office. from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. We expect to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say then.”

Since FTX’s collapse, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have been looking into Bankman-Fried, sources told ABC News.

The Southern District declined to comment on the arrest.

In response to news of the arrest, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said, “The Bahamas and the United States have a common interest in holding accountable anyone associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and breaking the law”.

“While the United States individually pursues criminal charges against SBF, The Bahamas will pursue 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,” he added. .

FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in November after a rival cryptocurrency exchange announced it was scrapping its proposed acquisition. The filing follows reports that FTX used deposits to pay Alameda Research creditors, a claim allegedly made by former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison during a call in early November. Bankman-Fried said he didn’t know that was true, but said Alameda had a large open position in FTX that was “overcollateralized a year ago.” He also partly blamed a market meltdown that “threatened that position quite a bit,” as well as poor management.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, Kirit Radia and Mark Guarino contributed to this report.

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