FTX crypto boss Sam Bankman-Fried denied bail in Bahamas
The founder of failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried has been denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and US authorities charged him with “one of the biggest financial frauds in US history” on Tuesday.
He built a “house of cards on a foundation of deception,” Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) said.
The ex-FTX boss has indicated that he will fight extradition to the US.
The judge denied his petition for release on bail, citing a “great” risk of flight, and ordered he be kept on remand at a correctional facility until 8 February.
FTX cryptocurrency collapse
FTX filed for bankruptcy in the US last month, leaving many users unable to withdraw their funds. A court filing showed FTX owed its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1bn.
He is also accused of using billions of dollars of customers’ funds to prop up his investment trading company, Alameda.
Bankman-Fried faces eight criminal charges in the US, including wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. He also faces civil charges including misleading investors who put more than $1bn into the company.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said at a news conference on Tuesday, that the fraud Mr Bankman-Fried is accused of is amongst the largest in US history.
He is also accused of using “tens of millions” in ill-gotten gains for illegal campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans alike.
“All this dirty money was used in service of Bankman-Fried’s desire to buy bipartisan influence and impact the direction of public policy in Washington,” Mr Williams said.
Sam Bankman-Fried, once considered a young Warren Buffett, has said in previous media interviews that he made mistakes but he has always denied intent to defraud his customers.