Bankman-Fried has signed legal documents that pave the way for extradition from the Bahamas to the United States.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has signed legal documents that pave the way for his extradition from the Bahamas to the United States, where he faces fraud charges stemming from the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, a Bahamas official said.
Bahamas Acting Commissioner of Corrections Doane Clare told Reuters the documents were signed around noon on Tuesday. A hearing in the Bankman-Fried case will take place on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (4:00 p.m. GMT), a court official told Reuters.
Wednesday’s hearing could set the stage for the 30-year-old cryptocurrency mogul to leave the Caribbean after days of confusion over Bankman-Fried’s extradition status.
Bankman-Fried’s U.S. attorney did not respond to requests for comment. A person familiar with the matter said Bankman-Fried intends to consent to extradition. Bankman-Fried acknowledged risk management failures at FTX but said she did not believe she was criminally responsible.
A representative of the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment.
Bankman-Fried was arrested Dec. 13 in the Bahamas, where she lives and where FTX is based, after a grand jury in Manhattan federal court charged her with stealing client funds from Alameda Research, her to cover crypto hedge fund losses.
He initially told a Bahamian court he would challenge extradition, but Reuters and other media outlets reported over the weekend that he would change his mind.
Earlier Tuesday, Bankman-Fried’s local defense attorney, Jeron Roberts, declined to comment as he left the capital’s Nassau Magistrate’s Court. US Embassy officials entered the courthouse earlier, a Reuters witness said, but Bankman-Fried was not seen on Tuesday.
Fall from grace
The arrest caps a stunning fall for Bankman-Fried, who has enjoyed a boom in the value of bitcoin and other digital assets, becoming a multi-billionaire.
He has come under increasing scrutiny since early November, when clients scrambled to pull funds out of FTX amid concerns about the commingling of their assets with Alameda.
Damian Williams, New York’s top federal attorney, said last week that Bankman-Fried’s actions were “one of the largest financial frauds in American history.”
The $32 billion exchange filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO the same day.
He has since been held at the Bahamas Department of Corrections in Nassau, formerly known as Fox Hill Prison. In a 2021 report, the US State Department described conditions at the facility as “atrocious”, citing overcrowding, rodent infestations and inmates relying on buckets as toilets.
Local authorities say conditions have improved.