FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Denied Bail In Bahamas

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James Lynch Contributor
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Disgraced former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried has been denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas, citing a “great” risk of flight out of the country.

The judge said Bankman-Fried should be sent to Bahamian custody until Feb. 8, 2023, and the decision follows his arrest by Bahamian authorities on request from U.S. federal prosecutors. He was indicted Tuesday on eight counts of alleged fraud and conspiracy by prosecutors for the U.S. Southern District of New York.

According to the indictment, Bankman-Fried “agreed with others to defraud customers of by misappropriating those customers’ deposits and using those deposits to pay expenses and debts of Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s proprietary crypto hedge fund, and to make investments,” from 2019 through Nov. 2022.

Bankman-Fried also received civil charges from two regulatory authorities, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on similar charges of alleged fraud. Charges include wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations.

His attorney suggested a $250,000 bail and an ankle bracelet, according to Bloomberg. His legal team cited Bankman-Fried’s difficulties with depression and ADD as reasons for letting him out of jail. The judge granted Bankman-Fried permission to take anti-depression medication before the lengthy hearing, New York Post reported.

Bankman-Fried faces a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison if convicted on all eight counts brought by federal prosecutors. He will fight extradition by Bahamian authorities to the U.S., a process that could take weeks if not months according to the New York Times. (RELATED: FTX CEO Says He’s Investigating Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents)

His collapsed crypto exchange FTX was based in the Bahamas, where Bankman-Fried allegedly lived with co-workers in a luxury penthouse.