January 27, 2023

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Source: Sam Bankman Fried will now turn himself in for extradition in court in the Bahamas Monday

Source: Sam Bankman Fried will now turn himself in for extradition in court in the Bahamas Monday

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (second left) is led away in handcuffs by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau, Bahamas on December 13, 2022.

Mario Duncanson | AFP | Getty Images

FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is no longer contesting his extradition to the United States, a turnaround just days after he was locked up in the Bahamas pending a hearing, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

The former crypto billionaire will appear in Bahamas court on Monday to formally waive his extradition rights, paving the way for federal authorities to secure his return to the United States.

Extradition between the Bahamas and the United States was legalized by a treaty in 1991. In practice, the process takes months, if not years, to complete because the accused has numerous opportunities to appeal. Pinkman-Fried’s legal team initially said it planned to fight extradition. The change of stance would dramatically move up the Bankman-Fried federal trial timeline.

The 30-year-old MIT graduate was originally scheduled for his next session in February 2023.

A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment.

Bankman-Fried was indicted in federal court in New York on Monday on charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and money laundering. If he is sentenced, he could face the rest of his life in prison. The former FTX CEO is also facing concurrent charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over similar allegations that he worked to defraud FTX clients of billions of dollars since 2019, the year the exchange was founded.

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At the heart of Bankman-Fried’s empire is Alameda Research, a digital currency hedge fund that federal regulators allege used FTX clients’ money to engage in trading that lost billions of dollars.

FTX collapse was accelerated when Reporting via CoinDesk It revealed a highly concentrated position in self-issuing FTT coins, which Bankman Fried hedge fund Alameda Research has used as collateral for billions in crypto loans. Rival exchange Binance announced that it would sell its stake in FTT, spurring massive cash withdrawals. The company froze its assets and declared bankruptcy days later. Charges from the CFTC indicated that FTX had mixed customer funds with Bankman-Fried’s crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research, and that billions in customer deposits were lost along the way.