On Monday, December 19, Sam Bankman-Fried – the disgraced founder of crypto-currency exchange FTX – was sent back to prison in the Bahamas after a chaotic scene in court. According to multiple reports, the former FTX CEO has agreed to be extradited to the United States to face charges.
Over the weekend, initial reports suggested that SBF would consent to extradition to the US. However, on Monday, the crypto billionaire told a different story by asking to see a copy of his federal indictment before agreeing to extradition. For now, SBF has returned to Fox Hill Prison in the Bahamas instead of surrendering to US authorities.
The legal team representing SBF said it plans to prepare documents and have him back in the Bahamas Magistrate’s Court before this week. Last week, SBF’s legal team reported that they would fight the extradition. But on Monday, they announced that SBF had changed its mind and decided to submit to extradition.
The courtroom was pretty chaotic Monday. SBF’s Bahamian lawyer, Jerone Roberts, said he was shocked to see his client in court. “I did not ask him to be here this morning“, said the lawyer.
However, Franklyn Williams KC, the Bahamian attorney, added that he had “understood that Sam Bankman-Fried intended to waive extradition“. The FTX founder arrived at the Bahamian court in a convoy of heavily guarded police vehicles.
SBF accepts extradition
SBF’s Bahamian defense attorney, Jerone Roberts, has stated in some publications that the FTX founder has accepted extradition.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried wants to make things right for the clients, and that is what prompted his decision. As his attorneys, we will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court.”
This development comes after SBF was remanded to the medical unit at Fox Hill Prison. According to reports, conditions at Fox Hill Prison are “difficult” because of “overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitary conditions, poor ventilation, and inadequate medical care.“
Sam Bankman-Fried could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of just one of the eight charges brought by prosecutors. However, his sentence could be reduced by mitigating circumstances. Former prosecutors and attorneys have said that many white-collar defendants get lighter sentences than the guidelines.