On his way to US: Alleged FTX fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to be extradited

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was denied bail and is reportedly being held in a Bahama jail notorious for its “harsh” conditions, has agreed to be extradited back to the United States.

The allegedly fraudulent cryptocurrency mogul’s attorney, Jerone Roberts, a local defense lawyer, told reporters that his client had agreed to extradition voluntarily, defying “the strongest possible legal advice,” the New York Times reported on Monday.

“We as counsel will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court,” Roberts said. “Mr. Bankman-Fried wishes to put the customers right, and that is what has driven his decision.”

The Times described a “chaotic morning of legal maneuvering in which Mr. Bankman-Fried was shunted back and forth between court and prison in the Bahamas.”

“After being arrested at his luxury apartment complex last week, Mr. Bankman-Fried initially indicated that he would challenge the extradition,” the newspaper reported. “But he later had a change of heart, a person briefed on the matter said over the weekend, and was prepared to return to the United States to be arraigned on a criminal indictment.”

SBF faces eight counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding equity investors out of more than $1.8 billion, including $1.1 billion from 90 U.S.-based investors, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“Unbeknownst to those investors (and to FTX’s trading customers), 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,” the SEC’s indictment states.

The Bahamas prison where Bankman-Fried is believed to be housed, Fox Hill Prison, was flagged by the U.S. State Department last year for having “harsh” conditions “due to overcrowding, poor nutrition [and] inadequate sanitation” along with cells “infested with rats, maggots, and insects,” Fox News reported.

“Maximum-security cells for men measured approximately six feet by 10 feet and held up to six persons with no mattresses or toilet facilities. Inmates removed human waste by bucket. Prisoners complained of the lack of beds and bedding,” the State Department report said. “Some inmates developed bedsores from lying on bare ground. Sanitation was a general problem, and cells were infested with rats, maggots, and insects.”

“Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to medical care were problems in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services men’s maximum-security block,” the report said. “The facility was designed to accommodate 1,000 prisoners but was chronically overcrowded.”

Not quite the luxurious accommodations SBF had grown accustomed to during his meteoric rise.


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