FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried back in Bahamian custody after apparent confusion in court over extradition

Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court on Monday and was remanded into custody in the Bahamas without a final decision on his extradition.

There seemed to be confusion at the hearing as the 30-year-old had to waive his extradition rights, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, but Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said on Monday he was “shocked” that Bankman -Fried be in court.

His lawyer added: “I didn’t ask him to be here this morning.”

A defense attorney for Bankman-Fried told the investigating judge that his client wanted to see the indictment against him before agreeing to be extradited to the United States, Reuters reported.

The 30-year-old appeared disheveled in court while dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and dress shoes. He often kept his head in his hands and his knees shook in the crowded courtroom, full of members of the media and the crypto community.

If Bankman-Fried waives his extradition rights, it will of course be a stunning reversal, as his lawyers initially said they would fight extradition after his Dec. 12. arrest in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried, once the hottest name in crypto, has since watched his empire fall from favor in recent weeks.

Last week he was charged in federal court in New York on eight counts covering wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violation of campaign finance laws. Prosecutors alleged he “orchestrated a years-long fraud” on investors and clients.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has further accused him of defrauding investors and enriching his private crypto hedge fund Alameda.

During a congressional hearing on FTX’s collapse and missteps last week, the company’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, denounced FTX’s management under Bankman-Fried.

“The collapse of the FTX Group appears to stem from an absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals who have implemented virtually none of the systems or controls necessary for a busy business money or assets of others,” Ray told lawmakers.

Adam Reiss contributed.

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