The FTX founder expects to drop the fight against extradition to the US

The FTX founder expects to drop the fight against extradition to the US

  • Finance
  • December 19, 2022
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Sam Bankman-Fried arrived at a Bahamas courthouse early Monday and is expected to tell a judge he will not fight extradition to the United States, where he faces multiple criminal and civil charges related to the cryptocurrency exchange collapse FTX is facing.

The decision comes just a week after Bankman-Fried’s attorneys originally said they planned to appeal the extradition. An extradition hearing was scheduled for February 8. His about-face could speed up the timetable for his transfer to the US

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last Monday at the request of the US government. The former FTX CEO faces criminal charges in the US, including wire fraud and money laundering, as well as civil lawsuits. The 30-year-old could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison.

correction trolley

Bankman-Fried arrived at the courthouse in a black van marked Corrections, escorted by a SWAT vehicle and a police vehicle. Police quickly took him into an entrance at the back of the courthouse.

Previously, a handful of people who said they were either crypto enthusiasts or FTX clients who lost money came to court to witness the proceedings. A man shouted “Sam is a scammer” as he entered the courthouse.

FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Charged with Fraud 02:08

Bankman-Fried’s decline from crypto evangelist to pariah has taken place at breathtaking speed. FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 11 when it ran out of money following the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.

Before the bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried was viewed by many in Washington and on Wall Street as a digital currency prodigy, someone who could help bring it mainstream, in part by working with policymakers to bring more oversight and trust bring to the industry.

investor losses

Worth tens of billions of dollars, at least on paper, Bankman-Fried was able to attract celebrities like Tom Brady or former politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton to his conferences at luxury resorts in the Bahamas. A well-known Silicon Valley firm, Sequoia Capital, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in FTX.

US prosecutors and financial regulators painted a very different picture of Bankman-Fried and FTX last week. An indictment released Tuesday claims he played a central role in FTX’s rapid collapse and hid his troubles from the public and investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Bankman-Fried illegally used investors’ money to buy real estate for himself and his family.

FTX’s new CEO, John Ray III, told a congressional committee on Tuesday that Bankman-Fried was nothing special.

“It’s just old-fashioned embezzlement, taking money from others and using it for your own ends,” he said.

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