Embattled former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has agreed to be extradited to the US, after previously demanding to see the indictment against him before consenting.
Reports over the weekend suggested that SBF would consent to extradition. However, SBF, who has been in the custody of Bahamian authorities since Dec 12, appeared in an emergency court hearing on Monday and demanded to see a copy of his federal indictment. Last week, SBF’s legal team indicated that they will be attempting to contest the US extradition.
SBF’s criminal defense lawyer, Jerone Roberts, told the court that he was “shocked” that his client was in court. However, Franklyn Williams KC, the Bahamian prosecutor, said that he “understood that [Bankman-Fried] intended to waive extradition”. The magistrate judge, Shaka Serville, later ordered SBF to return to Nassau’s Fox Hill Prison, where has has been held since last week.
However, Jerone later told the New York Times after the court hearing that SBF had agreed to be voluntarily extradited and that he hoped his client would be back in court later this week.
“We as counsel will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court,” the newspaper quoted Roberts as saying. “Mr. Bankman-Fried wishes to put the customers right, and that is what has driven his decision.”
Last week marked SBF’s first appearance in court, after he was arrested at the request of the US Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
The 30-year-old is facing charges from the US Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission related to defrauding investors and lenders as well as violations of campaign finance laws.