SBF Didn’t Think He Would Be Detained, Hours Before Arrest


  • Bahamian authorities arrested FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on Monday.
  • Just hours before, SBF said in an interview he didn’t believe he would be detained on US shores.
  • He made the comments while explaining why he was planning to call-in to testify before the Congress on Tuesday.

A multitasking Sam Bankman-Fried — who was playing a video game and responding to questions during an interview — said he didn’t think he would be detained if he returned to the US, mere hours before he was arrested in the Bahamas.

“I don’t believe I would be, but I haven’t done a deep dive into that. That’s something I have to think harder about,” Bankman-Fried said in a Monday interview on Twitter Spaces with options flow platform Unusual Whales, per a transcript.

Unusual Whales has called Bankman-Fried’s interview “the last thing he did as a free man.”

Bankman-Fried was responding to a question about potential detainment if he entered the US — as he was scheduled to testify before Congress on Tuesday. The former FTX CEO had said he wasn’t going to be there in person because he was “quite overbooked,” per the transcript.

He also said it was difficult for him “to move right now and travel because the paparazzi effect is quite large.”

During the interview — and amid a constant clicking sound in the background — Bankman-Fried was asked if he was playing video games, to which he responded: “Yes I am.”

He said he was playing “Storybook Brawl,” a game FTX acquired in March 2022. Bankman-Fried had told the New York Times in November the game clears his mind.

Though he was arrested in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried could face extradition to the US, experts told Insider’s Sindhu Sundar and Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert on Tuesday. 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, said after Bankman-Fried’s arrest it will file charges against him on Tuesday, relating to violations of securities law.

Rep. Maxine Waters, who chairs the US House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement she was “surprised” at Bankman-Fried’s arrest as that means he wouldn’t be testifying as scheduled.

“Although Mr. Bankman-Fried must be held accountable, the American public deserves to hear directly from Mr. Bankman-Fried about the actions that’ve harmed over one million people, and wiped out the hard-earned life savings of so many,” Waters said. 

Bankman-Fried resigned as the CEO of FTX on November 11, the same day the exchange filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as it failed to secure a rescue following an intense week-long liquidity squeeze. 

The curly-haired 30-year has been on a media apology tour since FTX’s collapse but told the New York Times in late November that he didn’t think he’s legally accountable.

The SEC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Insider was not immediately able to reach Bankman-Fried’s representatives for comment, but a representative declined comment to the New York Times upon his arrest.


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