Sam Bankman-Fried returns to Bahamian jail not knowing if he’ll fight extradition to US

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

  • It is not yet certain whether Sam Bankman-Fried will submit to an extradition to be brought to the United States.

  • He’s facing serious wire fraud and conspiracy charges in New York federal court.

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

Sam Bankman-Fried returned to his Bahamian jail after a hearing on Monday that reportedly did not decide whether he would be willing to be extradited to the United States.

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

Should Bankman-Fried be extradited, he is expected to appear in federal court in New York where prosecutors filed his indictment, so he can officially review the charges against him and file a statement.

There were earlier indications that he might grant extradition by US authorities, as reported by Bloomberg. But Monday’s hearing left the matter 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 judge in the Bahamas that he wanted to preserve the option to fight against being taken to the United States where he faces criminal charges. He has spent roughly the last week since his arrest in a notorious Bahamian prison known for its harsh conditions.

A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on Monday.

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

US Attorney Damian Williams, who heads the federal prosecutors office in Manhattan that filed the criminal charge, said at a news conference earlier this month that Bankman-Fried’s political contributions were in fact funded by abandoned customers.

Political organizations that have benefited from Bankman-Fried’s apparent largesse include Democratic groups like the House Majority PAC and The Protect Our Future PAC, which will likely face lawsuits due to FTX’s failure to reclaim the tainted donations.

“These contributions were disguised to appear as if they came from wealthy accomplices when, in fact, the contributions were funded by Alameda Research with money stolen from clients,” Williams said at the conference.

“And all of this dirty money has been used in service of Bankman-Fried’s desire to gain bipartisan influence and influence the direction of public policy in Washington,” he said.

The brief indictment against Bankman-Fried targeted him and laid the groundwork for his extradition from the Bahamas.

But given conspiracy allegations that point to others acting with Bankman-Fried on the alleged scheme, prosecutors could investigate those who were once in his orbit, like ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, who headed of the separate company of Bankman-Fried Alameda Research.

The prosecutors’ ongoing investigation could lead to potentially more detailed indictments on other conspirators.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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