- Sam Bankman-Fried is to be extradited to a US court in Manhattan from the Bahamas.
- The entrepreneur faces charges like wire fraud, money laundering, etc, in a U.S. court.
- Prosecutors will argue to keep the alleged under custody on the account of flight risk.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly agreed to be extradited to the U.S. on Monday after a court appearance in the Bahamas. As of today, he has been indicted in Manhattan federal court. The alleged founder’s request to remain at home while awaiting a hearing on his extradition was denied by Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt and consequently confined Bankman-Fried in a Bahamanian prison.
According to his local defense attorney, Jerone Roberts, Bankman-Fried was defying the legal advice when he voluntarily agreed to extradition. The decision was driven by Bankman-Fried’s desire to make things right for his clients, as per Roberts.
Upon extradition, the FTX founder would be facing charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance in a U.S. court.
Bankman-Fried would most likely be detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn upon arrival; however, defense attorney Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma noted that some federal defendants are now being detained at jails close to New York City as a result of overcrowding at the facility.
Margulis-Ohnuma said that Bankman-Fried would be asked for a plea at his first court appearance in Manhattan, and then the judge would decide bail. Even though it would probably happen sooner, a hearing like this has to take place within 48 hours of Bankman-Fried’s arrival in the US.
A significant amount of money is at stake in this case, and prosecutors will likely argue that Bankman-Fried is a flight risk, arguing to keep him under custody. A former federal prosecutor and white-collar criminal defense lawyer Michael Weinstein claimed that:
The missing money gives prosecutors strong arguments that he is a flight risk. I expect that if a judge grants pretrial release, they would impose very restrictive and onerous conditions.
FTX‘s risk management shortcomings were admitted by Bankman-Fried, although the FTX founder still maintains that he is not criminally liable. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and Bankman-spokespeople Fried’s have both declined to comment on the situation at hand.