Disgraced crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested today in the Bahamas, the Justice Department said. The Attorney General’s office of the Caribbean nation said the bust was made after U.S. prosecutors formally charged the founder and former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, whose wild story is a hot commodity in Hollywood.
Neither country’s officials offered details on the charges, but Bankman-Fried is expected to be extradited to the United States.
“As a result of the notification received and the material provided therewith, it was deemed appropriate for the Attorney General to seek SBF’s arrest and hold him in custody pursuant to our nation’s Extradition Act,” the office of The Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder said in a statement.
Valued at $32 billion by private investors earlier this year, FTX has been on the verge of collapse since last month, when rival Binance balked at a proposed merger of the crypto giants. That news sent cryptocurrency markets into freefall, and Bankman-Fried said at the time that his company was facing an $8 billion shortfall in funds due to the sudden “run” on the exchange. In three days, traders pulled some $6 billion from the platform.
FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11.
A number of companies and celebrities are reported to have hefty investments in the company, while FTX also has big-ticket sponsorship deals with the likes of the Miami Heat basketball team and the Formula One squad Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1. The crypto crash led to a class-action lawsuit filed in mid-November whose defendants include Larry David and sports superstars Tom Brady and Steph Curry, among others.
The Bankman-Fried story is the subject of a movie and TV series in the works at Apple and Amazon, respectively. Late last month, Apple was close to sealing a deal for film rights to Michael Lewis’ upcoming book about the case, with sources pegging the deal at mid-seven figures. Lewis, who wrote the sourcebooks for the movies Moneyball, The Big Short and The Blind Side, spent six months with the embattled entrepreneur before the bottom fell out for Bankman-Fried.
Meanwhile, the Russo Brothers and David Weil have set up an eight-episode scripted series about FTX and its founder at Amazon. Details about the project are TBA.