Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

FTX founder Bankman-Fried consents to extradition, heading to Bahamas airport at 6 p.m. EST -source

Listen to this article
2022-12-21T22:21:56Z

Sam Bankman-Fried arrived at a Bahamas court on Wednesday (December 21) morning, a day after the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange signed papers paving the way for his extradition to the United States, where he faces fraud charges.

Sam Bankman-Fried will be taken to the airport in The Bahamas at 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) on Wednesday, a person familiar with the matter said, after the FTX founder was taken to prison following a courthouse appearance where he consented to be extradited to the United States.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last week charged the 30-year-old cryptocurrency mogul with stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer assets to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research, in what U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”

Bankman-Fried left the courthouse, surrounded by guards with assault weapons, and entered a vehicle, according to Reuters Video.

Bankman-Fried was arrested on a U.S. extradition request last week in The Bahamas, where he lives and where FTX is based. He initially said he would contest extradition, but Reuters and other outlets reported over the weekend that he would reverse that decision.

Bankman-Fried decided to agree to extradition in part out of a “desire to make the relevant customers whole,” according to an affidavit read in court on Wednesday and dated Dec 20.

Dressed in a suit, Bankman-Fried stepped up to the witness box in court, where he spoke clearly and steadily as he was sworn in.

“Yes, I do wish to waive my right to such formal extradition proceedings,” he told Judge Shaka Serville.

Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyer said his client had eaten, was in good health and was “anxious to leave.”

The judge said he was satisfied that all legal requirements for extradition had been met and that Bankman-Fried had not been “forced, coerced or threatened” into making the decision.

“I therefore formally commit you to custody while you await your extradition,” Serville said.

The hearing was adjourned after the statements.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer requested that the “rule of speciality” be followed. This rule, which is in The Bahamas’ extradition treaty with the United States, says a person can be tried only on the charges for which they are extradited.

Bankman-Fried’s U.S.-based defense lawyer, Mark Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried has acknowledged risk-management failures at FTX, but has said he does not believe he has criminal liability.

Bankman-Fried rode a crypto boom to become a billionaire several times over and an influential U.S. political donor, before FTX’s crash wiped out his wealth and tarnished his reputation. The collapse was driven by a wave of customer withdrawals amid concerns over commingling of funds with Alameda.

The $32 billion exchange declared bankruptcy on Nov. 11, and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO the same day.

He has since been detained at The Bahamas Department of Corrections in Nassau, known as Fox Hill prison. The U.S. State Department in a 2021 report described conditions at the facility as “harsh,” citing overcrowding, rodent infestation and prisoners relying on buckets as toilets.

Local authorities say conditions have since improved.

Related Galleries:

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, is escorted out of the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, is escorted out of the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, is escorted into the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, is escorted into the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The Founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The Founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Dante Carrer

The Founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, leaves the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

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/File Photo

The Founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried leaves the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 19, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello


Advertisements | Advertising at The News And Times - advertising-newsandtimes.com | WE CONNECT!
WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE