FTX Founder Decides not to Contest Extradition Order
- FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will not be contesting his extradition order to the United States as per Reuters.
- SBF was scheduled to appear on Dec. 19 in front of the Bahamian court to seek a reversal of the extradition.
- Lawyers of Bankman-Fried filed for a second request for bail and said that he was suffering from depression and insomnia.
- SBF has been charged with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.
One of the biggest personalities in the crypto space and a former billionaire, the founder of crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF in the crypto community, has remained in the spotlight of the industry for quite some time, mainly due to the bankruptcy of his exchange. The entrepreneur, who is currently in prison in the Bahamas, is to be extradited to the US for further questioning.
Interestingly, SBF contested the extradition early on, but now, as per a report from Reuters, the founder and former CEO of FTX has no interest in contesting the same. As per a Dec. 17 report, SBF is scheduled to appear on Dec. 19 in front of the Bahamian court to seek a reversal of the extradition, but, the situation is not the same anymore. He is expected to give his consent to the extradition order, as per a person familiar with the matter.
As reported earlier by Bitcoinwisdom, the founder of FTX was arrested at the request of the US government by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The US authorities charge the crypto entrepreneur with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and money laundering. There are reports that he can spend a total of 115 years in jail if the sentences are carried out to the maximum.
On Dec. 13, the application from FTX founder to the Bahamian government for bail was rejected due to “flight risk,” and it seems that SBF has finally given up on his ambition of being set free or not appearing in front of the US authorities. While SBF hasn’t confirmed that he will not be contesting the extradition report, it is a fact that contesting the same wouldn’t play out in his part.
However, the lawyers hired by SBF continue to fight for his bail, as on Dec. 15, they filed a second request for bail and stated that the former CEO of FTX was suffering from depression and insomnia. They also argued that SBF does not have any prior criminal record, which makes him less of a “flight risk.” While he has accepted the mismanagement of customers’ funds at his exchange, he stated that he does not believe he has criminal liability.
Interestingly, during his initial court hearing in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried will be asked to enter a plea while the judge presiding over the case will be deciding whether to grant him bail or not. As per Reuters, the prosecutors will add that SBF is indeed a flight risk due to the huge sum of money at stake and the unclear location of the funds.
“The missing money gives prosecutors strong arguments that he is a flight risk,” said former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney Michael Weinstein. “I expect that if a judge grants pretrial release, they would impose very restrictive and onerous conditions.”
When recently asked about what happened to the billions of dollars sent to the sister company of FTX, Alameda Research, during the initial days of the exchange by clients, SBF speculated that he believes that the entire money was spent.
“I can now go back and take a guess at…where they were ultimately spent, or used, or something,” Bankman-Fried said to clarify the whereabouts of the $5 billion. “But dollars are fungible with each other, so it’s not like this one dollar bill over here that you can trace through from start to finish. What you get is more just omnibus pots of assets at various forms,” said SBF.