The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will now try former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried on charges listed in an indictment brought in December 2022, CoinDesk reported on Wednesday.
These charges include wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Elections Commission by making unlawful political contributions.
Prosecutors brought five additional charges against Bankman-Fried in superseding indictments shared in February and March 2023. The FTX founder’s lawyers argued that the additional charges, including bank fraud and bribery, should not be included as they are a violation of the terms of the extradition with the Bahamas.
On May 29, prosecutors with the DOJ sought a speciality waiver from the Bahamas government to prosecute Bankman-Fried on the additional charges. The prosecutors agreed that the Bahamas had the authority to object to the new offenses named post-extradition, but noted that the U.S. treaty with Bahamas does not limit additional charges being added.
However, in a hearing on Tuesday, the Bahamas Supreme Court ruled that Bankman-Fried could legally contest these additional charges against him.
“If the charges in the superseding indictment were put forward at the time of the request, the claimant would have had the opportunity and right to challenge them in formal extradition proceedings,” said Bahamas Supreme Court Judge Loren Klein.
“Therefore, denial of a right to be heard would deprive the claimant of an interest or benefit to procedural rights to which he would otherwise have been entitled,” he added.