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“Epstein Treatment”: SBF’s Arrest Celebrated But Also Questioned

Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested the day before he was due to testify – should we be celebrating or questioning?

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It’s finally happened. Crypto’s latest crypto villain Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been arrested, and the internet is rejoicing and spreading conspiracy theories.

In a statement, Royal Bahamas Police Force confirmed the arrest, which occurred shortly after 6 pm local time on Monday, 12 December in Albany, Nassau in the Bahamas.

“He was arrested reference to various Financial Offences against laws of the United States, which are also offences against laws of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” the statement reads.

The FTX co-founder is due to appear in a magistrates court in the Bahamas on Tuesday 13 December.

The US Attorney’s office in Manhattan said the arrest was “at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the Southern District of New York (SDNY).”

Read more: Coinbase CEO Says “95% of Crypto People Are Legitimate” Despite “Massive FTX Fraud”

“We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time,” the office said in a tweet.

US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official Gurbir Grewal expressed gratitude to the Bahamas police in a statement: “We commend our law enforcement partners for securing the arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried on federal criminal charges. The SEC has authorized separate charges relating to his violations of securities laws, to be filed publicly tomorrow in SDNY.”

Crypto celebrations

With other crypto villains including Do Kwon, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies still mysteriously evading law enforcement, the arrest of SBF has been largely celebrated on crypto Twitter.

One of the first to spread the joy was the “Chairman of WallStreetBets”, who tweeted, “The former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman, has been arrested. Faith in humanity restored.”

Read more: Su Zhu, Do Kwon Take Higher Ground Against SBF for Market Manipulation

“Sam byebye freed,” wrote one witty Twitter user, whilst another added, “you’re telling me bahamian authorities fried this bankman?” to which a tweeter resopnded, “You needed the full name! This Fried Bankman is being reported to Uncle Sam.”

Epstein pt. 2

The internet wouldn’t be the internet without conspiracies theories, and predictably SBF’s arrest has fuelled this fire.


“Feeling they will give him the Epstein treatment,” responded another.

Whilst SBF was not directly linked to Jeffrey Epstein himself, he reportedly hired Mark Cohen, the same lawyer that represented Ghislaine Maxwell.

“Does anyone else wonder if Bankman Fried will meet the same fate as Epstein? After all, how many will he expose if he testifies?” One Twitter user questioned.

“Sam Bankman-Fried didn’t Epstein himself,” said another, whilst one morbid tweeter wrote,”Billionaire Dem Donor And Former Crypto CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested In Bahamas. Democrats are concealing evidence. #SBF_FTX will die before trial, just like Epstein.”

Hearing concerns

Epstein theories aside, one substantial concern among crypto Twitter is the timing of SBF’s arrest. SBF was scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, 13 December. His arrest ahead of the hearing means he may not be able to do so.

As Representative Lee Zeldin stated, “Sam Bankman-Fried was scheduled to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee. @HouseGOP was ready to grill him six ways to Sunday. Now breaking tonight, SBF was just arrested! Why not allow him to 1st testify tomorrow and answer our many questions?”

One follower resopnded “he will be protected by daddy Joe and uncle Merrick. They can’t let him testify or the whole place burns.”

Congressman Lance Gooden suggested the timing was a sneaky win for the Democrats. “DOJ arrests Sam Bankman-Fried a day before a congressional hearing because he was going to be humiliating to the democrats he bankrolled,” he tweeted.

Read more: Why FTX’s Spot Clients Lost Money

In a statement, Congresswoman Maxine Waters said she was “disappointed” about the early arrest. “My staff and I have been working diligently for the past month to secure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s testimony before our Committee tomorrow morning.”

“We received confirmation this afternoon from Mr. Bankman-Fried and his lawyers that he was still planning to appear before the Committee tomorrow, but then he was arrested… 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.”