US

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Extradition To US Made Official

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Disgraced former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried told a Bahamian judge Wednesday he has agreed to be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial, according to The New York Times (NYT).

Bankman-Fried is expected to land in New York as early as Wednesday afternoon. Soon after, he will be arraigned in Manhattan court, the NYT reported.

Bankman-Fried confirmed in Magistrate Court he had signed documents to go ahead with his extradition, days after there was confusion among his legal team about the decision, the NYT reported. He initially decided to contest extradition to the U.S. before reversing his decision Monday.

He will stand trial in New York on eight counts of fraud and conspiracy following an indictment by federal prosecutors. The charges brought against Bankman-Fried include wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations. (RELATED: ProPublica And Vox Are Returning Sam Bankman-Fried’s Funds)

Bankman-Fried “agreed with others to defraud customers of FTX.com 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,” according to the indictment.

He was arrested Dec. 12 and placed in the Bahamian prison Fox Hill, a facility known for “overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, poor ventilation, and inadequate medical care,” the State Department reported in 2020. The Bahamian government has begun improvement projects in the correctional facility, the report noted.

Bankman-Fried founded the Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX in 2019, which leapt to an estimated $40 billion valuation due to a January 2022 fundraising round.

FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 11 in the wake of reports alleging misused customer funds by FTX and its sister trading firm, Alameda Research.