FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried signs extradition papers, will return to US for charges

Bankman-Fried had waffled on waiving an extradition hearing.

December 20, 2022, 5:09 PM

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has now signed extradition papers in the Bahamas, where he lived in a multimillion-dollar mansion, after waffling on the decision since his initial court appearance last week.

The disgraced former CEO signed the papers to waive an extradition hearing from the Bahamas and will now be flown to the United States to face prosecution after the collapse of a company that was once valued at $32 billion, according to acting Commissioner of Corrections Doan Cleare.

Bankman-Fried, 30, had been expected in court Tuesday but did not appear, even as his lawyers and U.S. consular officials waited for two hours.

That followed a confusing hearing Monday at which Bankman-Fried declined to waive extradition. The judge sent him back to jail and declared the day’s proceeding a waste of time.

Bankman-Fried is now due back in court Wednesday and, with extradition papers signed, should be clear for transfer to New York, where federal prosecutors have charged him in an eight-count indictment with stealing billions from customers of and investors in FTX.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is led away handcuffed by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force at the Nassau, Bahamas, courthouse on Dec. 19, 2022.
Kris Ingraham/AFP via Getty Images

Bankman-Fried has been held in the medical ward of the island's Fox Hill prison after an application for bail was denied when a judge determined he was too much of a flight risk.

A U.S. government plane is waiting to fly Bankman-Fried back from the Bahamas, where he lived in a $30 million penthouse while running FTX until it collapsed into bankruptcy in November.

At a court hearing last week, Bankman-Fried declined to waive his right to challenge extradition to the U.S. He was expected to do so on Monday, according to sources, but did not.

Instead, at the court hearing on Monday, Bankman-Fried asked to see a copy of the U.S. indictment and speak to his New York-based attorney. A phone call, in the presence of his Bahamian counsel, was approved by the judge.

Ultimately, Bankman-Fried agreed to waive extradition and clear the path for his transport to the U.S. for prosecution.

In addition to the criminal charges, Bankman-Fried faces related civil lawsuits from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.