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FTX founder Bankman-Fried agrees to extradite to US: lawyer | Cryptocurrency News


Sam Bankman-Fried faces criminal charges in the United States in connection with the collapse of his crypto exchange FTX.

Sam Bankman-Fried may be willing to go to the US to face criminal charges related to The collapse of the crypto exchange FTX after a tumultuous trial in the Bahamas.

An attorney for Bankman-Fried was quoted as saying Monday the FTX founder has agreed to be extradited to the United States. A trial was halted earlier in the day when his lawyers said it was too soon for him to stand trial.

Jerone Roberts, local defense attorney for Bankman-Fried, told The New York Times that attorneys will prepare the necessary documents for the extradition. “Mr Bankman-Fried wanted to do the right thing for his client, and that’s what prompted his decision,” the Times quoted Roberts as telling reporters.

It is not clear when the extradition may take place.

The trial comes just a week after Bankman-Fried’s lawyers initially said they intended to fight extradition. An extradition hearing has been scheduled for February 8. The reversal could speed up the timetable for bringing him to the US.

Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last Monday at the request of the US government. US prosecutors accuse him of playing a central role in the rapid collapse of FTX and hiding its problems from the public and investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Bankman-Fried illegally used investors’ money to buy real estate for himself and his family. The 30-year-old is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Bankman-Fried arrived at court in a black van marked Corrections, escorted by a SWAT van and a police van. Police quickly ushered him into an entrance at the back of the courthouse.

A small number of people who said they were crypto enthusiasts or FTX customers went to the court to witness the proceedings.

“We wanted him to feel the weight of what he did,” said Ben Armstrong, founder of the BitBoy Crypto website. Armstrong said he went to court with dozens of people, some of whom lost money with FTX.

If he is taken to New York City, Bankman-Fried will likely be detained, at least temporarily, at a federal detention center in Brooklyn. Other prominent inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in recent years have included sexually abusive singer R Kelly, pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkreli and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted accused of helping millionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse children.

During his time at the MDC, which holds about 1,600 inmates, Maxwell’s lawyers repeatedly complained to the judge that the place was unsanitary and full of cockroaches and rodents. In recent years, three guards there have been found guilty of sexually abusing prisoners. In 2019, a power failure left inmates shivering for a week in the cold of winter.

When he returns to the US, Bankman-Fried’s attorney will be able to ask him to be released on bail. A separate judge in the Bahamas denied Bankman-Fried’s bail request last week on the grounds that he was in danger of absconding.

Bankman-Fried’s downfall, from crypto evangelist to detractor, happened with astonishing speed. FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11 when it ran out of funds after the crypto equivalent of bank withdrawals.

Before bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried was seen by many in Washington and Wall Street as an exotic digital currency, one who could help bring them into the mainstream, in part by working with investors policymakers to bring more oversight and trust to the industry.

Bankman-Fried is worth tens of billions of dollars – on paper at least – and could attract celebrities like Tom Brady or former politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton to his conferences at Luxury resort in the Bahamas. A well-known Silicon Valley firm, Sequoia Capital, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in FTX.

FTX’s new chief executive, John Ray III, told a congressional committee on Tuesday that there is nothing complicated about what Bankman-Fried intends.

“This is just old-fashioned embezzlement, taking other people’s money and using it for your own purposes,” he said.

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