FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is likely to accept extradition to the U.S. without an extended legal fight—but his lawyer put a hold on the efforts claiming not to have known of SBF’s wishes.
- SBF was charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy by the Southern District Court of New York on Tuesday, December 13.
- Reuters reports that SBF planned as early as Saturday to appear in court Monday to wave his extradition fight, meaning he will be transported to the U.S. for trial.
- However, his lawyer, Jerone Roberts, says he was not aware of his client’s plans, Bloomberg reports.
- He was expected to enter his plea and be offered bail in the coming months once he has returned to the U.S. He was returned to the prison in the Bahamas.
Why it’s News
The decision comes following SBF’s arrest last week by the Bahaman government and his placement in Fox Hill Prison, widely regarded as one of the more dangerous prisons in the world. The Bahamas Corrections Commissioner says he has been staying in the prison sick bay. The Washington Post reports he is in a maximum-security cell with access to movies and the internet.
SBF faces up to 115 years in prison for his charges. He will likely be extradited and ordered to enter a plea for his charges in court. Prosecutors will announce his bail afterward but reportedly consider him a flight risk. A subsequent trial would likely be scheduled for one year after that. His bail meeting is currently set for January 17, 2023.
“Upon arrival in the United States, Bankman-Fried would likely be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, though some federal defendants are being held at jails just outside New York City due to overcrowding at the facility,” says Reuters.
SBF was responsible for the collapse of FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world which declared bankruptcy on November 11 following an insolvency crisis. Restructuring lawyer John J. Ray III called the company one of the worst-run financial institutions he’s ever seen. SBF was scheduled to appear before congress last Tuesday before his arrest in the Bahamas.