The judicial machine is on the way.
Founder and former boss of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, “will be leaving the Bahamas tonight” to be handed over to US authorities, the Bahamian attorney general said in a statement on Wednesday. broadcast by several local media.
Last week, he was notably charged with fraud by electronic means, money laundering and violation of electoral laws by the American justice system and risks decades in prison if convicted.
"SBF", his nickname, "has waived the right to challenge his extradition to the United States", recalled Ryan Pinder.
The Bahamian authorities noted the fact that this renunciation allowed his extradition under the terms of a treaty binding the Bahamas and the United States.
Earlier Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited during a hearing in Nassau.
Flight scheduled for the night
The 30-year-old entrepreneur is "can't wait to go and if it could be done today, it would be perfect," Sam Bankman-Fried's Bahamian lawyer Jerone Roberts told Judge Shaka Serville, according to the local daily. The Nassau Guardian.
At the hearing, he expressed his “desire to ensure that affected customers get their money back,” according to the
Wall Street Journal
Sam Bankman-Fried was to fly in the evening to New York, where he will appear before another judge in Manhattan federal court.
Once the New York magistrate has served him with the charges against him, the former darling of the cryptocurrency world should be placed in detention in New York, pending trial.
Until last year, defendants in pretrial detention who depended on the Manhattan federal court were housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), located in the southern tip of the island.
But the site closed in 2021, officially temporarily.
He had been the subject of repeated complaints alleging unsanitary conditions of detention.
His reputation had also been tarnished by the suicide, in August 2019, in an MCC cell, of Jeffrey Epstein, accused of having created and maintained a pedophile network.
Sam Bankman-Fried could therefore be sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, also denounced for its lack of staff and questionable management of detainees.
Donations to the Democratic Party
Arrested on December 12 in Nassau, Sam Bankman-Fried is already in detention in the Bahamas.
He is accused of having used funds deposited by clients of the FTX platform to carry out, without their knowledge, risky transactions via another company he also controlled, Alameda Research.
He is also suspected of having invested part of this money in real estate in the Bahamas and dedicated another portion to donations to Democratic politicians, in particular Joe Biden during his presidential campaign.
Five of the eight charges against him each provide for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The one who has long been seen as an iconoclastic genius of cryptocurrencies is therefore likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.
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