FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried faces trip to the US for questioning over crypto exchange collapse
- Authorities in the US and Bahamas are discussing the possibility of bringing the FTX founder to the US, where the firm is under investigation
- Sam Bankman-Fried has been cooperating with Bahamian authorities but said he is not aware of plans with US officials
American and Bahamian authorities have been discussing the possibility of bringing FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to the US for questioning, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The conversations between law-enforcement officials in the two countries have intensified in recent days as they probe his role in the implosion of cryptocurrency firm FTX. Bankman-Fried has been cooperating with Bahamian authorities, said one of the people, who like the others asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
A lawyer for Bankman-Fried did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the Royal Bahamas Police’s financial crimes unit.
Representatives for the US Justice Department in Washington and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is investigating FTX’s collapse, declined to comment.
No one has been placed under arrest or taken into custody in relation to the matter, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Since FTX began its tailspin last week, prosecutors and regulators in the US and the Bahamas have opened investigations. Bahamian police interviewed Bankman-Fried on Saturday.
Bankman-Fried has been speaking with Bahamian authorities, but has said he has not been made aware of any plan with US officials, a person familiar with the conversations said.
Bankman-Fried, who stepped down as chief executive officer of the FTX group as part of a bankruptcy filing on Friday, has apologised to customers on Twitter and said last week that he was “shocked to see things unravel the way they did”.
On Tuesday, he posted that he was meeting with regulators and wanted to help FTX customers.
To be sure, the group’s new chief executive and a slate of freshly appointed independent directors – along with teams of restructuring advisers – will now have the most direct control over how customers fare going forward. A company’s owners have very little say in what happens to their enterprises once insolvency proceedings begin.