FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fred agreed to extradite him to the United States, where federal prosecutors agreed accuse him On eight counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Jeron Roberts, the attorney representing Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas, confirmed Monday afternoon that his client had “agreed to be extradited voluntarily to the United States of America.”
In an interview with a local journalist obtained by CNN, Roberts said Pinkman-Fried’s next court appearance will be to complete the extradition process and is expected to take place this week – possibly on Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried, a 30-year-old former cryptocurrency celebrity, was arrested a week ago at his luxury home in the Bahamas. New York federal prosecutors have charged him with defrauding clients and investors of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange he founded in 2019.
In a series of media interviews and tweets since FTX filed for bankruptcy last month, Bankman-Fried has admitted to management errors while denying that it knowingly defrauded clients or investors.
Roberts told the reporter Monday afternoon that there was a possibility Bankman Fried, known as SBF, could be extradited on the same day as his next court appearance.
Roberts wanted to emphasize that “Bankman Fried wishes to put customers straight and this is what prompted its decision to voluntarily extradite to the United States.”
earlier on monday, delivery procedures For Bankman-Fried, it appeared to stall as his Bahamian lawyers and local prosecutors argued bitterly in court.
Prosecutors indicated that there was an agreement with Bankman-Fried’s US attorney to allow his extradition to the United States to face federal charges. But Roberts, the attorney for Bankman Fried, Bahamas, said he himself was not part of that agreement.
Roberts claimed that prosecutors would not share his US indictment, nor should he “trawl the Internet” for it. In response, Attorney General Franklin Williams dismissed Roberts’ accusation, saying it was “unbelievable”.
Bankman-Fried — who wore the same navy blue suit he wore last week when he was arrested — was expected to drop his extradition battle, removing a major hurdle to his return to US soil to stand trial on multiple charges related to Fraud and conspiracy.
But Monday’s session left observers in the dark about what happens next.
The courtroom was crowded during the hearing, mostly with US embassy officials and members of the cryptocurrency community wanting Bankman-Fried to continue to be held in the Bahamas for punishment, rather than being sent to the US.
At the end of the hearing, the frustrated judge overseeing the case cleared the courtroom so Bankman-Fried could contact his American attorneys with his Bahamian attorney present.
Bankman-Fried was then returned to the Bahamas prison where he was held last week.
His US legal team did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Earlier in the day, a representative for his attorney declined to elaborate on the timeline, saying it was “difficult to give specifics while relying on the Bahamas courts.”
Bankman-Fried had initially planned to fight efforts to bring him back to the United States. But after a week in Nassau’s notorious Fox Hill prison, he seems less interested in continuing what was likely a years-long battle to avoid extradition.
The US State Department stated that conditions at Fox Hill were harsh. The report criticized the prison for overcrowding, poor nutrition, and inadequate sanitation and medical care. The overcrowded cells often lacked mattresses and were “infested with rats, worms, and vermin,” according to him. the report.
Bankman-Fried is expected to again request bail once he is in US custody. If bail is denied, he will be held at a federal detention center in Brooklyn, New York. Prisoners, lawyers and human rights advocates say conditions inside that facility, which mostly houses presumed innocent pretrial defendants, She is also inhumanedue to overcrowding, frequent loss of heating and poor sanitary conditions in general.
— CNN’s Jade Tim Garcia contributed to this report
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