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Friday, Feb 03, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried, currently held in a Bahamian prison, now plans to face the music and will not fight extradition to the US, reports say

Sam Bankman-Fried, currently held in a Bahamian prison, now plans to face the music and will not fight extradition to the US, reports say

Sam Bankman-Fried will no longer resist extradition to the US and is expected to appear in a Bahamian court on Monday to retract his previous decision to fight it, according to media reports.
Reuters, citing an anonymous source, reported the news. The Washington Post also reported that Bankman-Fried would agree to "face the music" if his efforts to secure bail fail, citing a Bahamian prison official who is regularly in touch with the disgraced crypto executive. 

At a court appearance on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried's lawyers had said he would contest being sent back to the US, according to Bloomberg. 

Earlier this month, the FTX founder told the New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin that he'd considered heading to the US and possibly speaking to members of Congress. He apparently made the comments in an interview with Sorkin at a DealBook summit via a video call from the Bahamas, where he and his family own multiple properties.

He was subsequently arrested in the Bahamas on Monday, and indicted by a US grand jury Tuesday. The eight-count criminal indictment includes wire fraud against customers and conspiracy to commit campaign fraud against the US. He is accused of misappropriating billions of dollars of FTX customers' funds, in part to finance his crypto hedge fund Alameda Research and cover expenses and debts. He is also accused of using the money to fund campaign donations and misleading investors in Alameda Research about the fund's robustness. 

The disgraced FTX founder was denied bail by a judge during a hearing in the Bahamas on Tuesday and remains incarcerated in its only prison, the Fox Hill correctional center. During the hearing, Bankman-Fried's lawyers argued to have him released so the former millionaire could maintain his vegan diet and continue taking his medications.

The judge concluded the 30-year-old posed a flight risk and remanded him in custody until February.

If his extradition to the US goes ahead, Bankman-Fried would likely appear in court in New York and face criminal charges that come with a maximum prison sentence of 115 years, per the Reuters report. 

Mark Botnick, a spokesperson for Bankman-Fried, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of typical working hours. 
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