Thursday, December 22, 2022

Sam Bankman-Fried departs the Bahamas following his extradition approval

'Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Bahamas after consenting to extradition'

 The judge said he was satisfied that all legal requirements for extradition had been met and that Bankman-Fried had not been "forced, coerced or threatened" into making the decision.

"I therefore formally commit you to custody while you await your extradition," Serville said.

The hearing was adjourned after the statements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Bahamas later said in a statement that the foreign minister had signed off on allowing Bankman-Fried's extradition to the United States.

During Wednesday's hearing, Bankman-Fried's lawyer, Roberts, requested that the "rule of speciality" be followed. This rule, which is in The Bahamas’ extradition treaty with the United States, says a person can be tried only on the charges for which they are extradited.

Bankman-Fried's US-based defense lawyer, Mark Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried has acknowledged risk-management failures at FTX, but has said he does not believe he has criminal liability.

Bankman-Fried rode a crypto boom to become a billionaire several times over and an influential US political donor, before FTX's crash wiped out his wealth and tarnished his reputation. The collapse was driven by a wave of customer withdrawals amid concerns over commingling of funds with Alameda.

The $32 billion exchange declared bankruptcy on November 11, and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO the same day.

He has since been detained at The Bahamas Department of Corrections in Nassau, known as Fox Hill prison. The US State Department in a 2021 report described conditions at the facility as "harsh," citing overcrowding, rodent infestation and prisoners relying on buckets as toilets.

Local authorities say conditions have since improved.

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