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SEC charges Samuel Bankman-Fried with defrauding investors in FTX Trading

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The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday it has charged Samuel Bankman-Fried with orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX Trading Ltd, the crypto trading platform he co-founded and headed until it collapsed spectacularly in recent weeks. The SEC said Bahamas-based FTX raised more than $1.8 billion from investors, including about $1.1 billion from about 90 U.S.-based investors, while touting the platform’s safety and sophisticated risk measures to protect customer assets.”.. In reality, Bankman-Fried orchestrated a years-long fraud to conceal from FTX’s investors (1) the undisclosed diversion of FTX customers’ funds to Alameda Research LLC, his privately-held crypto hedge fund; (2) the undisclosed special treatment afforded to Alameda on the FTX platform, including providing Alameda with a virtually unlimited “line of credit” funded by the platform’s customers and exempting Alameda from certain key FTX risk mitigation measures; and (3) undisclosed risk stemming from FTX’s exposure to Alameda’s significant holdings of overvalued, illiquid assets such as FTX-affiliated tokens,” the SEC said in a statement. The agency is seeking to bar Bankman-Fried from the securities industry, will seek a civil fine and an officer and director bar. The news comes just hours after Bankman-Fried’s arrest in the Bahamas. “SBF’s arrest followed receipt of formal notification from the United States that it has filed criminal charges against SBF and is likely to request his extradition,” says a statement from the Attorney General of the Bahamas.

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