Sam Bankman-Fried, who is currently being held in a Bahamian jail after the collapse of FTX, will not decide whether to consent to extradition until he has read the indictment in Manhattan federal court, according to his lawyer, who appeared with him in a Bahamian court.
- The notorious former CEO and founder of beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange FTX has reversed his stance concerning extradition to the U.S.
- He wants to read first the indictment filed last week in Manhattan federal court accusing him of stealing billions of dollars in customer deposits before making any decisions.
- Bankman-Fried was indicted last week on various criminal counts, including fraud and conspiracy offenses, which could land him in jail for decades, carrying a maximum penalty of 115 years.
A Day of Courtroom Chaos
It was reported earlier that Bankman-Fried was expected to waive his extradition hearing on Monday morning. But he instead requested to see a copy of his federal indictment, with his attorney Jerome Roberts expressing "shock" at the proceedings.
During the courtroom chaos, the attorney told judge Shaka Serville he did not know why Bankman-Fried was brought to court on Monday morning and was unaware a court appearance was scheduled until minutes before the hearing.
Although Bankman-Fried has seen an affidavit, he hasn't read the indictment filed last week in Manhattan federal court accusing him of embezzling billions of dollars in customer deposits in order to plug losses, said the attorney.
Back To The Bahamas' Notorious Jail
The FTX founder arrived at the Bahamian court in a police convoy, heavily guarded in a blue suit and white button-down. He spoke only to greet the judge and confirm he would speak with his U.S. counsel. He was returned to the Bahamas' Department of Corrections after the hearing.
He is being held at the Bahamas' notorious Fox Hill prison. A U.S. State Department report on the prison revealed overcrowding, poor nutrition, and sanitation, as well as inadequate medical care. The disgraced billionaire was initially widely reported as being in “good spirits,” according to sources at Fox Hill Prison.
The Bottom Line
Bankman-Fried was indicted last week on eight criminal counts, including fraud and conspiracy offenses. The Security Exchanges Commission (SEC) is additionally accusing him of devising an alleged deception to swindle equity investors in the trading platform FTX. The charges could land him in jail for decades, carrying a maximum penalty of 115 years.