Former CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried will appear in Bahamas Court on Monday in an attempt to reverse the decision to challenge extradition to the United States where he faces fraud allegations, a source familiar with the matter stated on Saturday.
On Dec. 13, the federal court in Manhattan indicted the cryptocurrency mogul and charged him with engaging in a scheme that defrauded FTX customers.
He consented to extradition, which would allow him to be tried in the United States for using customer deposits stolen to pay expenses and make investments for his crypto hedge fund Alameda Research LLC.
Legal experts said that a trial would likely take more than a calendar year, but they are still possible.
30-year-old Bankman Fried was detained in Bahamas on December 12. He is a resident of the country where FTX is based. After Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson denied his request for him to stay at home, he was taken to Fox Hill prison in the Caribbean.
Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to inquiries for comment from a spokesperson or a U.S.-based attorney. The U.S. attorney’s Manhattan office declined to comment.
According to Reuters, Bankman-Fried submitted a fresh bail application at the Bahamas Supreme Court Thursday.
As a result of a crypto boom, Bankman-Fried built FTX to be one the largest global exchanges. However, it was forced to close its doors abruptly in this year.
The Manhattan federal top prosecutor Damian Williams described the fall of FTX’s financial system as the largest financial fraud in American history. Although Bankman-Fried acknowledged the risks involved in FTX’s collapse, he said he didn’t believe he was guilty.
Bankman-Fried did not immediately explain why he decided to withdraw from extradition.
In a report dated 2021, the U.S. State Department stated that Fox Hill’s conditions were “harsh.” They cited overcrowding and rodent infestation as well as prisoners who relied on buckets for toilets. According to authorities, conditions are now better.
If convicted on all 8 counts in the United States of Bankman-Fried, he could spend up to 115 Years in Prison. However, any sentence will be decided by a judge who considers a variety of factors.