Has Sam Bankman-Fried Changed His Mind About Extradition to the US?

Looks like Fox Hill is doing a number on Sam Bankman-Fried. The former FTX CEO is expected to appear in court in the Bahamas on Monday to take back his decision to fight extradition to the United States, according to CNN, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Bankman-Fried initially did not waive the right to an extradition hearing, expecting that he would be granted bail. His lawyers had initially requested that he be released on a US$250,000 cash bail and an ankle monitor to track his movements, citing Bankman-Fried’s medication and vegan diet as primary reasons for the request. 

The former FTX CEO was deemed to pose too high a flight risk and was denied bail and ordered to be held at the island country’s only prison, a facility called Fox Hill, until his extradition trial on February 8.

Fox Hill is known for its “harsh” conditions due to “due to overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, and inadequate medical care.” After Bankman-Fried’s family asked if he could have vegan food sent to him at the facility, many speculated that the Bankman-Fried would change his mind about fighting extradition to the US. Especially since doing so might result in him spending months, even years at the Bahamian prison.

If Bankman-Fried does waive his extradition hearing, chances are he would be sent back to the US immediately. According to Reuters, he would most likely be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. But there’s also a possibility that he would be held in a facility outside New York City in case of overcrowding at the detention center.

When he gets to the US, prosecutors are expected to argue that Bankman-Fried should remain in custody. 

“The missing money gives prosecutors strong arguments that he is a flight risk,” former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney Michael Weinstein told Reuters. “I expect that if a judge grants pretrial release, they would impose very restrictive and onerous conditions.”

On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried was charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy. If found guilty of all eight counts, he could face up to 115 years in prison. He is also facing civil charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN, Reuters, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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