Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court on Monday and was remanded to custody in the Bahamas, but there has been no final decision on extradition.
There seems to There was confusion at the hearing as the 30-year-old was expected to waive his extradition rights, but Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said Monday he had no doubts about Bankman’s extradition rights, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. – Fried was “shocked” to appear in court.
His lawyer added, “I did not ask him to come here this morning.”
Defense attorneys for Bankman-Fried told a magistrate that his client wanted to see the indictment against him before agreeing to extradition to the United States, Reuters reported.
The 30-year-old looked disheveled in court despite wearing a blue suit, white shirt and dress shoes. He often had his head in his hands and shaking knees in a crowded courtroom filled with members of the media and crypto community.
If Bankman-Fried does waive his extradition rights, it would of course be a stunning reversal, since his lawyers initially said they would oppose extradition after Dec. 12. Twelve people were arrested in the Bahamas.
Bankman-Fried, once the biggest name in the cryptocurrency space, has seen his empire descend into disgrace over the past few weeks.
He was indicted in federal court in New York last week on eight counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violation of campaign finance laws. Prosecutors allege he “orchestrated a years-long fraud” against investors and clients.
The SEC further accused him of defrauding investors and profiting from his private cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda.
During last week’s congressional hearing on FTX’s collapse and missteps, the company’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, lashed out at FTX under Bankman-Fried.
“The FTX Group’s demise appears to have resulted from the absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of extremely inexperienced and immature individuals who failed to implement virtually any system or control over the security of funds or assets entrusted to others. It is necessary for the company,” Wray told lawmakers.
adam rice contributed.