A person familiar with the matter told news that FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried would no longer fight extradition to the United States. This comes just days after he was remanded to Bahamian jail pending a hearing.
The former crypto billionaire will appear in Bahamian court on Monday to waive his extradition rights formally, allowing federal authorities to secure his return to the United States.
A 1991 treaty between the Bahamas and the United States codifies extradition. In practice, the process can take months, if not years, to complete because the accused have multiple opportunities to appeal. Bankman-legal Fried’s team initially stated that he would fight extradition. The change of heart would significantly shorten the timeline for Bankman-federal Fried’s trial.
The 30-year-old MIT graduate’s next hearing was initially scheduled for February 2023.
Bankman-representative Fried’s declined to comment.
On Monday, Bankman-Fried was charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and money laundering in a federal court in New York. The former FTX CEO is also facing parallel charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on similar allegations that he conspired to defraud FTX customers out of billions of dollars since 2019 when the exchange was founded.
Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund that federal regulators allege used FTX customer money to engage in trading that resulted in billions of dollars in losses, was at the heart of Bankman-empire.
The collapse of FTX was precipitated by CoinDesk reporting on a highly concentrated position in self-issued FTT coins.
Which Bankman-hedge Fried’s fund Alameda Research used as collateral for billions of dollars in crypto loans. Binance, a competitor exchange, announced it would sell its stake in FTT, causing a massive outflow of funds.
After freezing assets, the company declared bankruptcy a few days later. According to SEC and CFTC charges, FTX commingled customer funds with Bankman-crypto Fried’s hedge fund, Alameda Research, and that billion dollars in customer deposits were lost.