//Former FTX Chief Bankman-Fried May Be Ready For Extradition To The US

Former FTX Chief Bankman-Fried May Be Ready For Extradition To The US

FTX Sam Bankman-Fried

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Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the fallen crypto giant FTX, is reportedly planning to accept the extradition request made by the U.S. government as he faces numerous charges over allegedly misusing investor funds and orchestrating a massive financial fraud in the country. Popularly known as SBF, the fallen chief of the FTX empire was arrested in the Bahamas in mid-December 2022.

According to a Reuters report, “Bankman-Fried is expected to appear in court in the Bahamas on Monday to reverse his decision to contest extradition to the United State.” The Bahamas government had recently expressed willingness to honor the extradition request made by the U.S. government. A court hearing is expected to happen soon after Bankman-Fried is brought to U.S. soil, but a formal trial covering all of the charges levied against him will take some time.

Bankman-Fried is currently in the Bahamas, which is where he ran his entire crypto empire, and has been assisting with the bankruptcy proceedings and local investigations into FTX and its sister companies. As per CoinDesk, Bankman-Fried sought bail, citing his vegan diet and his medication routine for depression, but the judge denied his request to stay at home. 

There’s a long road ahead

FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried

Bloomberg/Getty Images

The former FTX CEO, who recently claimed that he has almost nothing left out of his massive fortune, originally told a court in the Bahamas that he wouldn’t waive his right to contest the extradition, indicating that he wanted to stay in the island nation. Extradition is usually a long-drawn-out process since it offers multiple appeal opportunities. However, it is unclear what made Bankman-Fried change his mind. Regulatory officials are already investigating the disgraced crypto company in the Bahamas, and a criminal investigation is also underway.

In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged him with “orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors.” In addition to the SEC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed its own legal challenge against Bankman-Fried, cornering him for the loss of over $8 billion in customer funds. He is accused of commingling customer funds to fund Alameda Research, political donations, and purchasing lavish properties.

The indictment, which led to the arrest of Bankman-Fried, was unsealed by the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (via DOJ), charging him with conspiracy to commit wire, securities, and commodities fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering and political campaign finance violations. United States Attorney Damian Williams recently called the FTX saga “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.” As per CBS News, Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison. It was also recently reported that Bankman-Fried offered financial aid to a publication covering crypto news, which eventually led to its CEO resigning.