Sam Bankman-Fried returns to Bahamian jail with no answers on whether he will fight extradition to US

Sam Bankman-Fried leaving the Bahamas court.Marco Bello/Reuters

  • It is still uncertain whether Sam Bankman-Fried will submit to extradition to be brought to the United States.

  • He faces serious charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in federal court in New York.

  • He has been held in a Bahamas prison known for its harsh conditions since his arrest this month.

Sam Bankman-Fried returned to his Bahamian prison after a hearing on Monday that would not have determined whether he would agree to be extradited to the United States.

A Bahamian court remanded him in custody after a hearing that yielded no response on Bankman-Fried’s stance on extradition, according to a CNBC report, which said he wanted to see the criminal charges brought against him. him in the United States.

If Bankman-Fried were to be extradited, he would have to appear in federal court in New York where prosecutors filed his indictment, so he could formally review the charges against him and enter a plea.

There were indications earlier that he could concede to extradition by US authorities, as reported by Bloomberg. But Monday’s hearing left the question open, as Bankman-Fried’s own attorney told the court he didn’t expect the former FTX CEO to be there, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Bankman-Fried previously told a magistrate in the Bahamas that he wanted to retain the ability to fight by being brought to the United States where he faces criminal charges. He has spent roughly the last week since his arrest in an infamous Bahamian prison known for its harsh conditions.

A Bankman-Fried representative declined to comment on Monday.

Federal prosecutors in the United States hit Bankman-Fried with 8 counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

U.S. attorney Damian Williams, who heads the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office that brought the criminal indictment, alleged at a news conference earlier this month that Bankman-Fried’s political contributions were actually financed by abandoned customers.

Political organizations that have been the beneficiaries of Bankman-Fried’s apparent largesse include Democratic groups like House Majority PAC and The Protect Our Future PAC, which are likely to face lawsuits due to FTX’s bankruptcy to recover the tainted gifts.

“These contributions were disguised to look like they came from wealthy co-conspirators when in fact the contributions were funded by Alameda Research with money stolen from clients,” said Williams at the conference.

“And all that dirty money was used in service of Bankman-Fried’s desire to buy bipartisan influence and impact the direction of public policy in Washington,” he said.

The brief indictment against Bankman-Fried was aimed only at him and laid the groundwork for his extradition from the Bahamas.

But given conspiracy charges pointing to the presence of others who acted with Bankman-Fried in the alleged scheme, prosecutors may investigate those once in his orbit, like ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, who ran Bankman-Fried’s separate company, Alameda Research. .

Prosecutors’ ongoing investigation could lead to potentially more detailed charges involving other co-conspirators.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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