Bahamas Attorney General Senator Ryan Bender has confirmed that Sam Bankman-Fried will be extradited to the United States Wednesday night.
The Bahamas Department of State confirmed in a statement that Bankman-Fred will be extradited after the Bahamas Secretary of State signed a extradition note authorizing his extradition to the United States.
Earlier, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys were negotiating with federal prosecutors in New York about a bail arrangement that would enable him to avoid detention, people familiar with the matter told CNN.
The founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX Bankman-Fried, who oversaw his now-bankrupt empire from a luxury complex in the Bahamas, is expected to return to the United States early Wednesday.
At a hearing Wednesday morning, his Bahamas attorney told the court that Bankman-Fried had agreed to extradite him to the United States, where federal prosecutors have accused him of organizing One of the biggest financial scams in American history”.
Under cross-examination by a local judge, the disheveled-looking Bankman-Fried confirms his decision to leave the Bahamas.
“I wish to waive my right to the extradition formalities,” Bankman-Fred said in court.
It appeared that the 30-year-old was carrying a plastic bag containing personal belongings during the session. Bankman-Fried gave his occupation as “entrepreneur and executive” and told the judge his address was “a bit unclear right now.”
His attorney in the Bahamas, Jerron Roberts, said Bankman-Fried hopes to be extradited immediately. US embassy representatives in the courtroom told CNN they are working to extradite Bankman-Fried once Bahamas officials hand him over to US custody. The Bahamas Secretary of State must formally approve it before the extradition can proceed.
Once in the US, Bankman-Fred will appear before a Manhattan judge for a bail hearing. The timing of the hearing will depend on when he arrives in New York and is processed.
In the week and a half since his arrest in the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried has been held in a prison that US officials describe as overcrowded, filthy, and lacking in medical care. His crowded cells often lacked mattresses and were “infested with rats, worms, and vermin”.
Prosecutors and attorneys for Bankman-Fried are discussing an arrangement for his release, with conditions, that would enable the failed crypto entrepreneur to avoid spending time in the Metropolitan Detention Center. The Temporary Detention Center is a pre-trial detention facility owned by former prisoners and human rights defenders described as inhumaneciting frequent closures, overcrowding and power outages that left them without heat in the middle of winter.
Federal prosecutors last week charged Bankman-Fried with defrauding investors and customers of FTX, which he founded in 2019. If convicted on all eight counts of fraud and conspiracy, he could face life in prison.
Both FTX and its trading sister Alameda filed for bankruptcy last month after investors scrambled to withdraw deposits from the exchange, leading to a liquidity crunch.
In the weeks since their bankruptcy, FTX’s new CEO has publicly stated that customer funds deposited on the FTX website were mixed with funds in Alameda, making a number of high-stakes speculations. The CEO, John Ray III, described the situation at both companies as: “old embezzlement” by a small group of “inexperienced and not very experienced individuals.”
— CNN’s Matt Egan contributed to this report
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