Attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried are negotiating with federal prosecutors in New York on a bail arrangement that would help him avoid jail time, people familiar with the matter told CNN.
FTX crypto exchange founder Bankman-Fried, who oversaw his now-bankrupt empire from a luxury compound in the Bahamas, is expected to return to the US on Wednesday.
At a hearing Wednesday morning, her attorney in the Bahamas told the court that Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited to the United States, where federal prosecutors have accused her of orchestrating the extradition. “One of the biggest financial scams ever In American History.”
Under questioning by a local magistrate, a disheveled-looking Bankman-Fried confirmed his decision to leave the Bahamas.
“I wish to waive my right to formal extradition proceedings,” Bankman-Fried told the court.
The 30-year-old was holding a plastic bag of personal belongings during the investigation. Bankman-Fried gave his occupation as “entrepreneur and executive” and told magistrates his address was “a bit unclear at the moment”.
Her lawyer in the Bahamas, Jeron Roberts, said he hoped Bankman-Fried would be extradited immediately. U.S. Embassy representatives in the courtroom told CNN they were working to extradite Bankman-Fried once Bahamian authorities handed him over to U.S. custody. The Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs must formally agree before the extradition can proceed.
Once he arrives stateside, Bankman-Fried will appear before a judge in Manhattan for a bail hearing. The timing of that hearing will depend on when he arrives in New York and is processed.
In the week and a half since her arrest in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried has been held in a prison that US officials have described as overcrowded, dirty and lacking in medical care. Its overcrowded cells often lack mattresses and are “infested with rats, worms and vermin.”
Bankman-Fried’s prosecutors and attorneys are discussing a possible release with conditions that would help the failed crypto entrepreneur avoid spending time in the Metropolitan Detention Center. The MDC is a pre-trial holding facility staffed by ex-prisoners and rights advocates Described as inhumaneDue to frequent lockdowns, overcrowding and power outages, the heat is gone in the middle of winter.
Federal prosecutors last week accused Bankman-Fried of defrauding investors and clients of FTX, which he founded in 2019. If convicted on all eight counts of fraud and conspiracy, he faces up to life in prison.
FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda both filed for bankruptcy last month after investors rushed to pull their deposits from the exchange, triggering a liquidity crunch.
Within weeks of their bankruptcy, FTX’s new CEO publicly stated that customer funds deposited on the FTX platform were commingled with funds at Alameda, making several speculative, high-risk bets. CEO, John Ray III, described the situation of the two companies “Old fashioned fraud” In the hands of a small group of “grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals”.