Cryptocurrency tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried consents to extradition to US from The Bahamas | Science & Tech News
Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to be extradited to the United States from the Bahamas.
The FTX The crypto exchange’s founder’s attorney read an affidavit in court in Nassau on Wednesday, confirming that his client is willing to fly to New York.
As a result, the 30-year-old tycoon could be deported as early as Wednesday afternoon local time to face a series of fraud charges.
Bankman-fried decided to agree to extradition in part out of “desire to settle all relevant clients,” according to the December 20 affidavit.
Wearing a suit, Bankman-Fried went to the witness and told the judge: “Yes, I would like to give up my right to such formal extradition proceedings.”
His lawyer told the judge his client was “very keen to leave”.
The hearing was adjourned following the statements.
Officials from the FBI and the US Marshals Service – which handles the transportation of individuals detained in the US – have arrived in the Bahamian capital according to a person familiar with the matter.
It is currently unclear when Bankman-Fried will leave the Bahamas for New York.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last week charged electronic money tycoon stole billions of dollars in FTX client assets to cover losses for his hedge fund, Alameda Research, in what U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called “one of the largest financial scams in history” American history”.
Bankman-Fried was arrested on a US extradition request last week in the Bahamas, where he lives and FTX is based.
Initially, he said he would oppose extradition, but over the weekend it was reported that he would reverse that decision.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged risk management failures at FTX but said he did not believe he was criminally responsible.
His personal fortune is said to have grown to $20 billion (£16.2 billion) at the exchange’s peak, but has since dropped to $100,000 (£83,000). Brother).
Wednesday’s hearing follows a puzzling sequence of events this week that left Bankman-Fried’s expected extradition status unclear.
On Monday, after it was reported that he had agreed to be extradited, Bankman-Fried arrived in court in a black van marked “Repair” wearing a blue jacket and white shirt.
At the hearing, his local defense attorney, Jerone Roberts, said he was not informed about the purpose of the proceedings.
After a brief intermission, Mr Roberts said his client had seen an affidavit outlining the charges against him but wanted to see the full indictment before agreeing to extradition.
The proceedings were subsequently adjourned. They were expected to resume Tuesday morning, but Bankman-Fried’s legal papers were not filed in time.
Bankman-Fried fueled the crypto boom to become a billionaire multiple times and was an influential US political donor, before the collapse of FTX wiped out his fortune and tarnished him. tarnish his reputation.
The fall was fueled by a wave of customer withdrawals amid concerns about money mixing with Alameda.
cryptocurrency exchange declare bankruptcy on 11 November with Bankman-Fried stepping down as CEO the same day.