TechDigits

Tech news
Monday, Jan 30, 2023

FTX’s Bankman-Fried appears at Bahamas court; expected to waive extradition

FTX’s Bankman-Fried appears at Bahamas court; expected to waive extradition

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, appeared at court in the Bahamas on Monday although his lawyer said the reason for the hearing was unclear, after a source told Reuters the former billionaire was expected to agree to be extradited to the US.

Bankman-Fried initially had said he would fight extradition after his arrest a week ago in the Bahamas, where he lives and FTX is based. He was denied bail and remanded to the Caribbean nation’s Fox Hill prison.

Reuters reported first on Saturday that Bankman-Fried would return to court to reverse his decision, citing a source. Bankman-Fried exited a black van reading ‘Corrections’ outside the courthouse in Nassau on Monday, dressed in a dark blue suit carrying a manila folder containing papers.

Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyer however told Magistrate Shaka Serville that he does not know why Bankman-Fried was brought to court this morning. The court broke for recess so Bankman-Fried’s lawyers could confer with him.

The 30-year-old crypto mogul rode a boom in the value of Bitcoin and other digital assets to become a billionaire several times over and an influential political donor in the United States, until FTX collapsed in early November after a wave of withdrawals. The exchange declared bankruptcy on Nov. 11.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to plug losses at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research. They accuse Bankman-Fried of misleading lenders and investors, conspiring to launder money, and violating US campaign finance laws.

Bankman-Fried has acknowledged risk management failures at FTX but said he does not believe he has criminal liability.


Long road to eventual trial


Upon being extradited to the US, Bankman-Fried would be required to appear before a judge in Manhattan within two days, though the hearing would likely take place quickly. He would be asked to enter a plea, and the judge would make a determination on bail.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Bankman-Fried is a flight risk and should remain in custody because of the large sums of money involved in the case and the unclear location of those funds.

Bankman-Fried would likely be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, though due to overcrowding there some federal defendants are being held at jails just outside New York City, said Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, a New York defense lawyer at ZMO Law PLLC who is not involved in the case.

It was not immediately clear what prompted Bankman-Fried to change his mind on extradition. In a 2021 report, the US State Department described “harsh” conditions at the Fox Hill correctional facility where Bankman-Fried was being held, with overcrowding, rodent infestation and prisoners using buckets as toilets. Bahamas authorities say conditions have since improved.

Bankman-Fried had been remanded to the prison on Tuesday after Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt rejected his request to remain at home while awaiting a hearing on his extradition.

In the US it is highly unusual for judges to deny bail to defendants accused of non-violent financial crimes, though they typically demand steep dollar amounts and impose onerous monitoring conditions.

High-profile defendants including Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, and Enron executives Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were all granted bail before trial.

Damian Williams, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, last week described the collapse of FTX as one of the “biggest financial frauds in American history.” He has said the office’s investigation is ongoing, and called on people with knowledge of wrongdoing at FTX or Alameda to cooperate.

Any trial of Bankman-Fried is likely more than a year away, legal experts told Reuters.

Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
Close
0:00
0:00
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
This man paid for strangers' grocery and it moved them to tears
Meta introduces a new version of Mark Zuckerberg
Virtual Reality on billboards: BMW advertisement on Times Square
Apple CEO Tim Cook says coding should be taught as early as elementary school: 'It's the most important language you can learn'
Apple Executive Resigns After Viral TikTok Shows Him Making Crude Jokes
Huawei is not only better technology, but also protecting users better: Apple Warns Of Security Flaw For Iphones, Ipads And Macs
Mark Zuckerberg warns many teams will ‘shrink’ as Meta revenue drops
Elon Musk reportedly begged for forgiveness after his affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife
J.P. Morgan’s wealth management guru has some advice for recent college graduates on managing money and building wealth
Pentagon widens scope of UFO-hunting unit
Bezos' girlfriend Lauren Sanchez gives $1M to group focused on migrant kids at US-Mexico border
Hong Kong gets its first metaverse churches with avatars and virtual preachers
The ‘Dirty Quid Pro Quo’ Between Democrats and Big Tech
Elon Musk swore in March not to sell any Bitcoin, but Tesla cashed out 75% of its Bitcoin holdings amid the crypto winter just months later
Crypto winter continues at Gemini as another round of layoffs hits Winklevoss crypto exchange
Ex-CIA engineer Joshua Schulte convicted over massive data leak
EU to build new top-secret bunker
Elon Musk fathered twins with one of his executives last year
Apple launches Lockdown Mode to block spyware attacks on at-risk users
Australia floods worsen as thousands more Sydney residents evacuate
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Hacker claims to have obtained data on 1 billion Chinese citizens
British Army's Twitter and YouTube accounts restored after hack
Google will delete location history for visits to abortion clinics after overturning of Roe v. Wade
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Other Top Billionaires Lose $1.4 Trillion In Worst Half Ever
Philippines orders critical news site to shut down
Social media companies could be sued for addicting children to their digital-drug in California 
Airport chaos: European travel runs into pandemic cutbacks
The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet agreed to stop monitoring Mark Cuban's flights on Twitter after the billionaire offered business advice
YouTube Shorts Claims 1.5 Billion Global Users As TikTok Rivalry Heats Up
The “Chinese (much better) Tesla”, Nio Stock, Jumps Again As Nio Eyes 'Product Supercycle'
The Crypto Bear Market Could Last Two Years, Top Investors Say
×