Bankman-Fried accepts extradition to US to face fraud charges: media

Bankman-Fried accepts extradition to US to face fraud charges: media

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Samuel Bankman-Fried, the onetime head of highflying cryptocurrency business FTX, agreed on Wednesday to be extradited from the Bahamas to face charges of fraud in New York, local and US media reported.

Nine days after his arrest in his Nassau home, Bankman-Fried appeared in magistrate court, where he submitted his agreement to not challenge a US Justice Department extradition request, local media said.

That opened the way for him to be flown to the United States as early as Wednesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old digital currency billionaire was arrested at his Nassau apartment on 12 December at the request of US federal prosecutors who alleged that he cheated investors in FTX and misused funds that belonged to customers of FTX and its sister trading unit Alameda Research.

The FTX group was established in 2019 and became one of the darlings of the digital currency industry.

Attracting generous investment from well-established investment funds and venture capitalists, it was worth some $32 billion before it imploded in November.

He was charged in New York with eight counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and election finance violations.

Separately the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of violating securities laws.

Bankman-Fried “was orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire,” US prosecutors said.

After one week in Nassau’s Fox Hill prison, on Monday, he appeared in court amid speculation he would exercise his rights to fight extradition.

But the court session was cut short, and he was sent back to the prison after he consulted with his local and US attorneys.


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