(The Center Square) – Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of defunct cryptocurrency firm FTX, was charged Tuesday by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding investors.
In a formal complaint, the SEC alleges that Bankman-Fried raised more than $1.8 billion from investors since 2019 but diverted the funds to his personal crypto account.
“We allege that Sam Bankman-Fried built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement. “The alleged fraud committed by Mr. Bankman-Fried is a clarion call to crypto platforms that they need to come into compliance with our laws. Compliance protects both those who invest on and those who invest in crypto platforms with time-tested safeguards, such as properly protecting customer funds and separating conflicting lines of business. It also shines a light into trading platform conduct for both investors through disclosure and regulators through examination authority. To those platforms that don’t comply with our securities laws, the SEC’s Enforcement Division is ready to take action.”
The charges were filed a day after Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas.