By Hannah Lang
(Reuters) – The sudden fall from grace and arrest of FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has stunned investors and crypto enthusiasts who once hailed the 30-year-old American as the savior of the industry.
Bankman-Fried was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday with defrauding investors in what regulators called “a house of cards,” hours before he was set to appear before a magistrate in the Bahamas.
The fallen crypto entrepreneur was arrested by Bahamian authorities late on Monday at the request of the U.S. government, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. The Bahamian attorney general said in a separate statement the United States was likely to request his extradition.
Bankman-Fried amassed billions of dollars in personal wealth running FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges that was valued earlier this year at $32 billion.
Since stepping down, Bankman-Fried has said he no longer has a role at the company. Yet he also told a Vox reporter he believed FTX’s bankruptcy filing was a mistake and has suggested on Twitter and in media interviews that he can still raise liquidity to repay customers. He did not specify how he planned to