Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to be extradited to the U.S. after a confusing morning in a Bahamas court room.
A report from Reuters, citing a person familiar with the matter, stated that Bankman-Fried has now agreed to be extradited to the U.S. to face the host of fraud charges against him.
The FTX founder is said to have voluntarily agreed to face U.S. prosecutors against “the strongest possible legal advice,” The New York Times reported.
It is not clear what ultimately drove Bankman-Fried to agree to being extradited, but some industry watchers speculated that the harsh living conditions at the Bahamas sole penitentiary, Fox Hill, may have been a motivating factor. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, on the other hand, claim his decision was driven by his “wishes to put the customers right.”
After agreeing to be extradited to U.S. soil, Bankman-Fried would likely be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn before he appears in a U.S. court.
His decision follows a series of chaotic events in a Bahamas court room earlier in the day, that ended with Magistrate Shaka Serville calling the proceedings a “wasted day.”
Local news outlet Eyewitness News reported that Bankman-Fried had made an appearance in a Bahamas court on Monday, seemingly with the intent to waive his contest against extradition to the U.S.
However, his presence came as a shock to his legal counsel Jerone Roberts, who told the presiding judge that he was not expecting to see his client in court and called the hearing “premature.”
The hearing was then adjourned for 10 minutes while Bankman-Fried’s legal team conferred with him. After the brief recess, Roberts told the court that his legal team was further ahead on the case and would not be agreeing to extradition at this time, as per an account from a Reuters court reporter.
Roberts later confirmed that Bankman-Fried will go ahead with extradition to the U.S. and will reappear in the Nassau Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning to commence the process, according to a report from CNN.