FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was returned to a Bahamian prison on Monday after a failed bid to waive his extradition to the United States.
Reports on the weekend indicated that Bankman-Fried would consent to extradition, but the former crypto billionaire told a different story on Monday, demanding to see a copy of his federal indictment before agreeing to return to the United States. He will return to Fox Hill Prison rather than travel to the United States. keep.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team signaled it would fight extradition last week. CNBC and several other outlets reported that Bankman-Fried had a change of heart and would instead submit to extradition on Monday.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (C) is taken in handcuffs by Royal Bahamas Police officers to the courthouse in Nassau, Bahamas, December 19, 2022.
Chris Ingraham | AFP | Getty Images
In open court, chaos reigned. Bankman-Fried, dressed in a blue suit and white shirt, was visibly shaking. Its Bahamian The defense attorney told the court he was “shocked” that Bankman-Fried was in court.
“I didn’t ask him to be here this morning,” the attorney said. Franklyn Williams KC, the Bahamian prosecutor, said he “understood that [Bankman-Fried] intended to waive extradition,” according to an NBC News producer in the courtroom.
The FTX founder arrived at the Bahamian court in a heavily guarded convoy of police vehicles just after 10 a.m. Eastern Time.
The move comes just days after he was discharged to the medical unit at the infamous Fox Hill prison in the Bahamas.
The State Department in a 2020 report called conditions at Fox Hill Prison “difficult”, citing “overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, poor ventilation and inadequate medical care”.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, is escorted inside the Magistrates Court in Nassau, Bahamas, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Medical care in particular is spotty at the Bahamas prison, according to the report. The former billionaire was transported from one of his several multimillion-dollar penthouse homes to prison last week – although Bankman-Fried was given his own room in the medical wing, Bloomberg reported.
Sam Bankman-Fried faces life in federal prison, without the possibility of supervised release, if he is convicted of just one of the eight offenses with which prosecutors have charged him.
His sentence could be reduced by mitigating circumstances. Trial attorneys and former prosecutors say that, in practice, many white-collar defendants receive lesser sentences than the guidelines dictate. So even in big fraud cases, you can see the life sentences greatly reduced.