Sam Bankman-Fried Behind Bars: Awaiting Extradition To The US


Justice could be the fitting end to the Sam Bankman-Fried apology tour.

SBF, the former CEO of FTX exchange, was reportedly taken into custody by the Bahamian police on Monday, Dec. 12. The news broke out following a public statement from the Bahamian authorities.

Sam Bankman-Fried is Heading Back Home

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) filed formal charges against Bankman-Fried, pressing the Bahamas’ watchdogs to pull the action. This move marked the next step in the U.S. progress toward the case settlement.

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To wit,

“Earlier this evening, Bahamian authorities arrested Samuel Bankman-Fried at the request of the U.S. Government, based on a sealed indictment filed by the SDNY. We expect to move to unseal the indictment in the morning and will have more to say at that time.”

An informant reported to The New York Times that FTX’s former founder was prosecuted for conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud.

Ryan Pinder, Bahamian Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs said that the two countries would likely form an extradition agreement to return Bankman-Fried to the U.S. for prosecution.

The Bahamas is on Board

The Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis, spoke supportively of the move, stating that The Bahamas and the U.S. have a common interest in, “holding accountable all individuals associated with FTX who may have betrayed the public trust and broken the law.”

While the United States prosecuted Sam Bankman-Fried, The Bahamas will continue investigating the FTX collapse, the politician stated. The focus is on the collaboration of the two nations in addressing this issue.

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New York State prosecutors and FTX’s attorneys met on Dec. 10 to get documentation in an effort to effectively conduct their investigations.

One of the primary objectives of US authorities is to establish whether the FTX siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars when it filed for bankruptcy in November.

According to an indictment unsealed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Sam Bankman-Fried is facing eight charges, including conspiracy and fraud to customers’ deposits, creditors’ funds, money laundering, and violation of the U.S. financial law.

SEC Makes its Move

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it would also file an indictment accusing Sam Bankman-Fried of securities fraud on December 14. If found guilty on all charges, the ex-billionaire could be sent to prison for the rest of his life.

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The U.S. and The Bahamas police force are examining the potential misconduct of the former FTX CEO. However, since the FTX business was registered in The Bahamas, The Bahamas authorities are the only force that has arresting power toward the man.

While the crypto members rejoiced at the news of his arrest, their expectation of seeing him in jail is likely put on a hold. The extradition process might take months to years to indict the guilty individuals, as seen in the Enron case.

The statement came just one day before the hearing of the FTX’s founder scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 13. Since he is now under custody, he wouldn’t testify before the committee.

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters expressed disappointment at the unplanned absence of the “most anticipated” person. However, the hearing is still conducted as planned.

The arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried raises the question of whether an extradition request to return Do Kwon to South Korea has been lodged.

In September, South Korean police discovered that the TerraForm Labs co-founder had fled Singapore. According to the news, Do Kwon just relocated to Serbia.

The South Korean Ministry of Finance swiftly contacted the Serbian government to request Do Kwon’s extradition.

However, Serbia is not among the 31 nations with which South Korea has signed a bilateral extradition agreement. If the country refuses to send Terra’s former CEO to South Korean authorities, the EU could step in.

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Author: Nicholas Say

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