FTX’s Bankman-Fried signs extradition papers as Wednesday’s hearing approaches

NASSAU (Reuters) – FTX founder Sam Bankman Frid has signed legal papers paving the way for his extradition from the Bahamas to the United States, where he faces fraud charges over the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, an official in the Bahamas said on Tuesday.

The Bahamas’ acting commissioner of corrections, Duane Clare, told Reuters the documents were signed at noon on Tuesday. A court hearing in the Bankman Fried case will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT), a judicial official told Reuters.

Wednesday’s actions could pave the way for the 30-year-old cryptocurrency mogul to leave the Caribbean nation, after several days of confusion over Bankman Fried’s delivery status.

Bankman-Fried’s US-based attorney did not respond to requests for comment. A person familiar with the matter said Bankman Fried intends to approve the delivery. Bankman-Fried acknowledged the failure of risk management at FTX, but said he did not believe he had criminal liability.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment.

Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas, where he lives and where FTX is headquartered, after a grand jury in Manhattan federal court accused him of stealing clients’ money to plug losses at Alameda Research, his hedge fund.

He initially told a Bahamas court he would challenge his extradition, but Reuters and other media reported over the weekend that he would overturn his decision.

During a court hearing Monday at which Bankman-Fried appeared, his local attorney, Jeron Roberts, said he was not informed of the purpose of the suit. He later said that while his client had seen an affidavit outlining the charges against him, he wanted access to the full charge sheet before agreeing to extradition.

Earlier on Tuesday, Roberts declined to comment on his departure from Magistrates Court in the capital, Nassau. A Reuters witness said US embassy officials had earlier entered the courtroom but Bankman-Fried was not seen on Tuesday.

fall from grace

The arrest capped a stunning fall from favor of Bankman-Fried, who rode a boom in the values ​​of Bitcoin and other digital assets to become a multi-billionaire several times over.

It has been under increasing scrutiny since early November, when clients raced to withdraw funds from FTX amid concerns about their assets being mixed up with Alameda’s.

Damien Williams, the top federal prosecutor in New York City, said last week that Bankman-Fried’s actions amounted to “one of the largest financial frauds in American history.”

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

He has since been held at the Bahamas Department of Corrections in Nassau, formerly known as Fox Hill Prison. In a 2021 report, the US State Department called conditions at the facility “extreme,” citing overcrowding, a rodent infestation, and prisoners relying on buckets as toilets.

Local authorities say conditions have improved since then.

(Reporting by María Alejandra Cardona, Marco Bello, and Jared Higgs in Nassau; Additional reporting and writing by Luke Cohen in New York; Editing by Nolene Walder, Nick Zieminski, Lisa Schumacker, and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

#FTXs #BankmanFried #signs #extradition #papers #Wednesdays #hearing #approaches

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *