After initial protests, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly accepted extradition back to the U.S., where he is facing serious charges.
According to multiple sources from Reuters and CNBC, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has given up his objection to an extradition request to the United States by a Bahamian court where he is being held.
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 18, 2022
As reported by Coin68, Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by Bahamian authorities on the morning of December 13 at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice on fraud and fraud charges related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
During the subsequent extradition hearing to the U.S., the former CEO argued in a Bahamian court that he was sick and had no criminal record of fleeing to stay in the Bahamas and was even willing to pay $250,000 to be released on bail pending trial. However, a Bahamian court rejected the request because of the seriousness of the case, ordering Sam Bankman-Fried to be held until February 2023 at Fox Hill, one of the world's most notorious prisons with harsh detention conditions.
However, on the morning of December 18, Western media simultaneously revealed that the former FTX CEO had changed his mind and would not oppose the extradition request to the US in the next trial in the Bahamas on December 19.
The change in decision is likely to stem from Sam Bankman-Fried's presumption of living conditions on Fox Hill. According to The Washington Post, the former FTX CEO has been housed in an infirmary since his incarceration, which is separate from other inmates, air-conditioned and guaranteed vegetarian rations as he wishes. However, the prison could not sustain this for long.
Tour of Fox Hill prison where SBF is being held. pic.twitter.com/dMevbupgoY
— TrVon.eth 🟢 (@TrVon) December 17, 2022
If he returns to the US, Sam Bankman-Fried will face up to 3 separate indictments from the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Asset Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), namely:
– Ministry of Justice:
- Conspiracy to cheat customer deposits;
- Fraud of customer deposits;
- Conspiracy to defraud creditors' money;
- Fraud of creditors' funds;
- Conspiracy to commit property fraud;
- Securities fraud conspiracy;
- Money laundering conspiracy;
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States and violate financial donation rules.
- Fraud in securities offerings;
- Fraud is related to the purchase or offering of securities.
- Make dishonest statements of a deceptive nature.
If convicted of all charges, Sam Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.
According to legal experts, if extradited to the US, Sam Bankman-Fried will be held in one of the prisons in the New York area, because this is where the Southern District Court of New York handles all 3 charges above. Within 48 hours of arriving in the US, the former FTX CEO will attend a trial to see if he will immediately plead guilty, thereby deciding on other issues such as bail. However, because of the nature of the case, it is likely that the judge will deny the bail request and continue to detain Sam Bankman-Fried. Sam Bankman-Fried's trial will take place about 1 year later because of the complexity as well as giving the prosecution more time to collect evidence.
New York Prosecutor Damian Williams declared that "this is one of the most serious financial scams in American history," and said he would not stop at prosecuting Sam Bankman-Fried.