Accused crypto grifter Sam Bankman-Fried is one step closer to an American courtroom Tuesday, after he signed legal paperwork to start the extradition process.
The 30-year-old former CEO of FTX — indicted on charges of defrauding investors within the crypto exchange of $1.8 billion — signed the paperwork around noon, in keeping with Doan Cleare, The Bahamas’ acting commissioner of Corrections.
Bankman-Fried is due back in court Wednesday morning for a hearing expected to start out the means of returning him to the US.
In court last week Bankman-Fried said he would fight his extradition to the US while searching for release on bail from Bahamian prison.
Nevertheless, a judge ruled he was a flight risk and ordered him remanded on the island nation’s notorious rat-and-maggot infested Fox Hill prison, where he has been held since his arrest on Dec. 12.
Sam Bankman-Fried signed legal paperwork to start his extradition process.REUTERS
After an apparent about-face over the weekend, Bankman-Fried appeared before a Bahamian court Monday to start the extradition process — to the surprise of his own local lawyer.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried wishes to place the shoppers right, and that’s what has driven his decision,” Jerone Roberts, the previous CEO’s Bahamian defense attorney, told reporters Monday.
The lawyer added that Bankman-Fried had made the choice against “the strongest possible legal advice.”
Bankman-Fried can be back in a Bahamas courtroom Wednesday morning.AP/Rebecca Blackwell
Should Bankman-Fried’s extradition proceed, his case can be taken up in federal court in the Southern District of Latest York.