Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, has agreed to be extradited to the United States, where he faces civil and criminal charges. The decision was reportedly made to avoid prolonged imprisonment in harsh conditions in the Bahamas.
As expected, Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited to the United States from the Bahamas. The former CEO of FTX announced his wish to be transferred to North American soil during a chaotic audition which took place on Monday morning. Back in his country, the young businessman faces civil and criminal proceedings.
A key aspect of this story is that Sam Bankman-Fried, as we said, agreed to his extradition. Indeed, due to the nature of the current treaty between the United States and the Bahamas, the defendant may appeal the legal process multiple times.
In fact, the founder and former CEO of FTX’s original intention was to appeal his extradition. But not being released on bail in the Bahamas would have dramatically changed the story. The harsh conditions at Fox Hill Prison, which was found to be overcrowded and infested with rats, and to not receive adequate medical care, reportedly made him consider favorably the possibility of being sent to the United States.
Another important point is that with his extradition already resolved, the processes to bring Sam Bankman-Fried to justice would be expedited. The businessman is charged with fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws.
However, his transfer to the United States will not happen immediately. The former “wunderkind” of the crypto ecosystem returns to Bahamian courts this week, and his return to North America is not expected until after that. Once there, you will be transferred to a federal courthouse in New York.
Sam Bankman-Fried still has a long way to go in court
Sam Bankman-Fried is likely to get a bail hearing on US soil, according to the Washington Post. But specialists in the field believe that it will hardly be granted. The high profile of his case, coupled with the fact that millions of dollars in crypto assets have yet to be recovered from FTX, would make him a leak risk.
Currently, SBF is the only executive officially charged with a crime following the collapse of his company. A few days ago, we learned that Ryan Salame, co-CEO of the FTX subsidiary in the Bahamas, had denounced him before the Securities and Exchange Commission of this country, a few days before declaring the company bankrupt.
This has led to speculation that other executives, both from FTX and Alameda Research, may be cooperating with the investigation to avoid more serious charges. On the other hand, John J. Ray III, responsible for the bankruptcy of the company, was again very critical of Sam Bankman-Fried. In his last testimony before the US Congress, the lawyer assured that the company was doomed to failure. Moreover, he claimed that the cause of his collapse was “under no circumstances sophisticated”.
Finally, FTX announced that it would try to recover the money that the company’s former chief executive had set aside for election campaigns. The Financial Times reports that Sam Bankman-Fried, along with the stock exchange’s U.S. affiliate and other business leaders, donated more than $70 million to U.S. politicians during the 2021-2022 election cycle.
The businessman was the second-biggest donor to Democratic Party-aligned groups in the last US midterm elections. Ryan Salame, for his part, is said to have awarded around $24 million to Republican Party politicians.
Sam Bankman-Fried had risen to prominence during the crypto winter for presenting plans that would regulate the industry and eliminate the operation of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.