Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to extradition to the US; lawyers working out details

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has reportedly given consent to extradition to the US, according to reports Monday evening.

SAM BANKMAN-FRIED, FTX FOUNDER, CHARGED WITH FRAUD, MONEY LAUNDERING

His defense attorney in the Bahamas, Jerone Roberts, said Bankman-Fried went against the “strongest possible legal advice” in his agreement to be extradited to the US, according to The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal so reported on the disgraced FTX founder’s decision regarding extradition, citing an unnamed source.

A photo of Sam Bankman Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder and chief executive officer of FTX, in Hong Kong, China. A judge in the Bahamas ordered Bankman-Fried held until Feb. 8 despite federal charges against him in the United States. (Photographer: Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“We as counsel will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court,” Roberts said, according to The New York Times. “Mr. Bankman-Fried wishes to put the customers right, and that is what has driven his decision.”

His legal team was working out the details of his extradition after Bankman-Fried’s appearance in court Monday in the Bahamas, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bahamian government prosecutor Franklyn Williams, while attending the hearing earlier Monday, mentioned his office being in touch with Bankman-Fried’s US lawyers and also said his office “understood that Mr. Bankman-Fried intended to waive his extradition,” according to the outlet.

Sam Bankman Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded and led FTX until a liquidity crunch forced the cryptocurrency exchange to declare bankruptcy, is escorted out of the Magistrate Court building after his arrest in Nassau, Bahamas December 13, 2022. REUTERS/Dante Carrer (Reuters Photos)

Roberts reportedly indicated he had not had knowledge of that, going on to say Bankman-Fried was holding off on giving an agreement to extradition until he had seen the US indictment. He and his client were given time to call and talk to the US lawyers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Authorities arrested the disgraced crypto exchange founder in the Bahamas earlier in the month. He has since been hit with multiple charges from the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The charges he faces in the US include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and commit campaign finance violations, according to the Department of Justice’s press release.

FTX logo cryptocurrency decreasing stock

Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in front of displayed FTX logo and decreasing stock graph in this illustration taken Nov. 10, 2022. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

He faces accusations of allegedly having used FTX customer funds for “his personal use to make investments and millions of dollars of political contributions to federal political candidates and committees and to repay billions of dollars in loans owed by Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency hedge fund also founded by the defendant,” the DOJ said.

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FTX, once one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November along with Alameda Research, West Real Series and 130 affiliated companies. Bankman-Fried stepped down from the role of FTX’s CEO on the same day and handed the reins over former Enron liquidator John J. Ray III.

Last week, as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, FTX filed a motion seeking to sell four of its businesses.

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