Alleged FTX crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried denied bail after begging for release over vegan diet, ADD

Disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s request was shot down by a magistrate judge in the Bahamas on Tuesday after asking to be released on $250,000 bail due to his vegan diet and ADD diagnosis and will instead cool his heels in a cell until February when he will appear for a hearing.

(Video Credit: CBS Evening News)

The 30-year-old crypto fraudster, who is allegedly guilty of the largest financial scam in US history, hung his head in shame and hugged his parents, both Stanford professors, following the decision, according to the New York Post.

FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 when the company ran out of money following the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run. Customers panicked and attempted to withdraw their assets all at once because of growing doubts about the financial strength of the company and Alameda Research.

The alleged fraud resulted in billions of dollars lost in customer deposits.

The denial of bail occurred after a lengthy hearing. It’s the first time the MIT graduate has appeared in person since his arrest in the Bahamas on Monday, weeks after the catastrophic collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange.

Bankman-Fried appeared in the heavily-guarded court in Nassau, signaling that he would not waive an extradition hearing on being sent back to the US. The leftist darling is facing a ton of federal charges, including fraud and making illegal campaign contributions.

Federal prosecutors claim that he diverted investors’ money to cover expenses, debts, and risky trades at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research. He also allegedly made lavish purchases and illegal campaign contributions without telling his customers.

“Mr. Bankman-Fried is reviewing the charges with his legal team and considering all of his legal options,” his attorney, Mark S. Cohen, announced in a statement.

Chief magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt allowed Bankman-Fried to take his ADD medication before the hearing commenced, according to Coindesk.

According to a report, Bankman-Fried’s mother laughed when her son was called a “fugitive.”

The hearing began at 10:30 am but was delayed a number of times. One delay involved the legal debate over whether the well-connected Democratic donor would be granted bail, Eyewitness News Bahamas reported.

Prosecutors contended that the fallen crypto king was a significant flight risk as he was once estimated to be worth in excess of $32 billion.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney Jerome Roberts offered $250,000 cash bail and for his client to wear an ankle bracelet in exchange for his release, according to Bloomberg. He had already surrendered his passport.

The judge wanted time to consider the arguments because she claimed that “rushed justice is no justice at all.” Her ruling was not in Bankman-Fried’s favor and he was remanded into custody until Feb. 8, 2023, when he will appear in court.

It’s likely that he will be forced back to the US to face the music for his crimes. Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder vowed to “promptly” extradite him to answer for a myriad of charges.

The alleged con artist faces up to 115 years in prison if he is convicted on all eight charges involving wire fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance violations for his political contributions. The SEC also wants a word and has charges of its own to slap him with.

Bankman-Fried found himself in front of a judge 17 hours after his arrest at his exclusive resort on the island late Monday.

His parents are Stanford Law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried who were in court to support their son.

Bankman-Fried was smuggled into the court through a side door to avoid reporters, according to Eyewitness News Bahamas. His convoy was comprised of SWAT officers who joined other heavily-armed police that encircled the court.

Ferguson-Pratt had trouble getting into her own court and complained that she “had never seen such madness.”

US authorities announced that they will try to claw back any of Bankman-Fried’s financial gains from his alleged scheme.

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