Accused crypto crook Sam Bankman-Fried wrongly predicted that he wouldn’t be arrested just hours before he was actually busted.
The fallen 30-year-old FTX mogul casually played video games in the apparent safety of his extravagant home in the Bahamas late Monday while giving an interview about his scandal to options flow platform Unusual Whales.
He was asked if he was worried about getting detained if he returned to the US after he revealed he’d be “calling in” to Congress Tuesday rather than testifying in person.
“Uh, I don’t believe I would be, but I haven’t done a, like, deep dive into that,” the shaggy-haired former billionaire replied.
“That’s something I have to think harder about.”
That opportunity did not come, however, as he was arrested at 6 p.m. Monday after US prosecutors pressed criminal charges and the SEC accused him in a civil complaint of having run a “massive, years-long fraud” through “a house of cards” built “on a foundation of deception.”
Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder vowed to “promptly” extradite him.
Unusual Whales said the arrest was just “hours” after he was being interviewed on its Twitter space, making it “one of the last things” he did as a free man.
Seemingly unaware he was about to be arrested, Bankman-Fried blamed his schedule as well as “security” concerns for staying in the Bahamas and testifying virtually to Congress.
“I’m quite overbooked and was not planning to be testifying until like very recently, he said, saying it was “also frankly a pretty important time for me to be here.”
“It’s very difficult for me to move right now and travel because just like the paparazzi effect is quite large,” he claimed.
During the chat, he admitted to playing “Storybook Brawl,” a game he previously said helps clear his mind.
One questioner told him it was “incredibly disrespectful that you’re playing video games while you’re talking to us.”
“I hope you’re not playing video games tomorrow when you’re trying to dissuade Congress from seeing you as a fraud,” the questioner told him.
Seemingly unfazed, Bankman-Fried replied: “Do you have a question?”
He was then arrested just after 6 p.m. Monday at his luxury gated community called the Albany in the capital, Nassau.
Bahamian police said he was arrested due to “various Financial Offences against laws of the United States, which are also offenses” on the island.
He is now expected to appear before a magistrate on Tuesday, marking the first in-person public appearance by the fallen crypto king once estimated to be worth $32 billion.
The SEC complaint says that “Bankman-Fried raised more than $1.8 billion from investors” who believed “that FTX had appropriate controls and risk management measures.”
“Unbeknownst to those investors (and to FTX’s trading customers), Bankman-Fried was orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire.”