Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in Bahamas Magistrates Court on Monday as his lawyers said he would agree to be extradited to the United States to face fraud charges related to the collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
Bankman-Fried was expected to overturn his decision and agree to extradition in court on Monday, but the decision was delayed after his local attorney, Jerone Roberts, told the court he was not in court. stream of the decision. Magistrate Shaka Serville adjourned proceedings twice to allow Bankman-Fried to speak with his attorneys and call his U.S. attorneys, local news reported.
Bankman-Fried left the courthouse around 1 p.m. local time without agreeing to be sent to the United States, according to Reuters. However, two of his attorneys later told local media that Bankman-Fried would agree to a voluntary extradition. A person with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed Bankman-Fried’s intentions.
Roberts told local media he hopes Bankman-Fried can return to court later this week to formalize his decision to end the extradition fight.
Bankman-Fried arrived at the Nassau courthouse just after 10 a.m. local time on Monday, pulling into a black police van under heavy guard from the jail where he was being held. Charges against him last week in the Southern District of New York allege he orchestrated “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history”.
He denied wrongdoing.
A Bahamian court last week denied Bankman-Fried bail, saying he was at risk of trying to flee. The 30-year-old has since been held at Fox Hill Prison in Nassau. The facility has been criticized in international reports for its overcrowding and lack of sanitation.
Bankman-Fried would have a new opportunity to apply for bail in the United States after his extradition. He also faces civil charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which allege he misled investors and funneled client money entrusted to the FTX exchange to his private trading firm. AlamedaResearch.
If convicted, Bankman-Fried could face a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison, legal experts say.
FTX, once valued at $32 billion by blue chip investors including Sequoia Capital and BlackRock, collapsed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware in November after being unable to respond to a wave of customer requests to withdraw their funds. The company may have over a million creditors, according to bankruptcy filings.
Bankman-Fried had lived in Nassau, in a $30million penthouse at the luxury Albany resort, since FTX moved from Hong Kong to the Bahamas late last year after the Caribbean nation implemented a bespoke regulatory regime for digital assets.