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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried back in Bahamian custody after apparent confusion in court over extradition

Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court on Monday and was remanded back into Bahamian custody with no final decision regarding his extradition.

There appeared to be confusion at the hearing as the 30-year-old was expected to waive his extradition rights, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, but Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said Monday he was “shocked” Bankman-Fried was in court.

His attorney added, “I did not request him to be here this morning.”

A defense lawyer for Bankman-Fried told the magistrate judge that his client wanted to see the indictment against him before agreeing to be extradited to the U.S., Reuters reported.

The 30-year-old appeared disheveled in court despite being dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and dress shoes. He often kept his head in his hands and his knees were shaking in the packed courtroom, full of members of the media and crypto community.

If Bankman-Fried does waive his extradition rights, it’ll be a stunning reversal of course as his lawyers initially said they’d fight extradition after his Dec. 12 arrest in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried, once the most prominent name in crypto, has since seen his empire fall into disgrace over the past few weeks.

Last week, he was indicted in New York federal court on eight counts spanning wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and violating campaign finance laws. Prosecutors alleged he “orchestrated yearslong 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, lashed out at FTX’s leadership under Bankman-Fried.

“The FTX Group’s collapse appears to stem from absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals who failed to implement virtually any of the systems or controls that are necessary for a company entrusted with other people’s money or assets,” Ray told lawmakers.


Adam Reiss contributed.

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