FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to US extradition in major U-turn
The disgraced founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has agreed to be extradited to the US from the Bahamas where he faces a slew of fraud and conspiracy charges from federal prosecutors.
The 30-year old former billionaire’s attorney, Jerone Roberts, said on Monday afternoon that Bankman-Fried “has agreed to be voluntarily extradited to the United States of America.”
It comes after days of wrangling in which the founder looked set to contest extradition. In an interview with local media seen by CNN, however, Roberts said Bankman-Fried’s next court appearance will be used to complete the extradition process.
A spokesperson at Fox Hill prison, where ‘SBF’ is being held in the Bahamas, said he was expected back in court on Tuesday, CNN reported.
SBF’s U-turn on fighting extradition has come due to the expectation that he will be able to win bail in the US, sources told Bloomberg.
The former crypto baron is facing decades in prison in the US if he is found guilty of the charges brought against him by federal prosecutors, however.
Regulators in the US have also filed a series of civil claims against the FTX founder. The Securities and Exchange Commission last week said Bankman-Fried “built a house of cards on a foundation of deception while telling investors that it was one of the safest buildings in crypto.”
The FTX founder has faced a catastrophic fall from grace after his exchange imploded in early November. FTX had previously been regarded as one of the more stable firms in the sector.
The exchange’s top team is accused of funnelling customers’ cash into its sister trading firm Alameda Research to fund splashy bets on the crypto market. The firm’s new chief, brought in to oversee the bankruptcy of the firm, said it was a case of “old-fashioned embezzlement,” he said.