Sam Bankman-Fried, founding father of FTX, seems in court docket and is anticipated to waive extradition
Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court in the Bahamas on Monday, where there appeared to be confusion over whether he will waive his extradition rights.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, the 30-year-old was set to waive extradition, but during Monday’s hearing, Bankman-Fried’s attorney said he was “shocked” that Bankman-Fried was on trial.
His lawyer added: “I didn’t ask him to be here this morning.”
The 30-year-old looked disheveled despite wearing a blue suit, white shirt and smart shoes. He often had his head in his hands and his knees were shaking in the crowded courtroom full of members of the media and crypto community.
Of course, if Bankman-Fried waived his extradition rights, that would be a startling reversal, since his lawyers originally said they would fight extradition following his December 12 arrest in the Bahamas.
Once the most prominent name in the crypto world, Bankman-Fried has seen his empire fall from favor in recent weeks.
Last week, he was indicted in New York federal court on eight counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violating campaign finance laws. Prosecutors claimed he orchestrated “years of fraud” on investors and customers.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission further charged him with defrauding investors and enriching his private crypto hedge fund Alameda.
At a congressional hearing on FTX’s collapse and missteps last week, the company’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, attacked FTX’s leadership under Bankman-Fried.
“The collapse of the FTX Group appears to have resulted from the absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of extremely inexperienced and inexperienced individuals who have failed to implement virtually any system or control required for a business to who is entrusted with someone else’s money or property,” Ray told lawmakers.
Adam Reiss contributed to this.