A court docket listening to within the Bahamas by which Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founding father of the collapsed cryptocurrency change FTX, was anticipated to conform to extradition to america resulted in turmoil on Monday with Mr. Bankman-Fried being despatched again to the jail the place he has been held for the previous week.
A choose ordered the crypto entrepreneur returned to the Fox Hill jail in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, after one of many prosecutors chided Mr. Bankman-Fried’s native protection lawyer for not being ready to proceed.
Following his arrest within the Bahamas final week, Mr. Bankman-Fried initially indicated that he would contest his extradition. However he modified his thoughts and was ready to return to america to be arraigned on a prison indictment, an individual briefed on the matter had mentioned over the weekend.
The listening to on Monday in Justice of the Peace Courtroom in Nassau had been organized for Mr. Bankman-Fried to inform authorities he wouldn’t contest the extradition in spite of everything. However his native lawyer, Jerone Roberts, mentioned he was “shocked” to see his consumer in court docket on Monday morning, and requested at the least one 45-minute break to confer privately with Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Mr. Roberts then mentioned Mr. Bankman-Fried needed to learn the indictment filed by federal prosecutors earlier than making a call on extradition.
What to Know About the Collapse of FTX
What’s FTX? FTX is a now bankrupt firm that was one of many world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It enabled prospects to commerce digital currencies for different digital currencies or conventional cash; it additionally had a local cryptocurrency often called FTT. The corporate, primarily based within the Bahamas, constructed its enterprise on dangerous buying and selling choices that aren’t authorized in america.
The confusion within the courtroom is the most recent twist within the prison case arising from the sudden implosion of FTX, as soon as one of many world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. FTX, which was primarily based within the Bahamas, filed for chapter on Nov. 11. Inside a month, federal prosecutors had filed prison prices in opposition to Mr. Bankman-Fried, who can be going through civil fraud prices from the Securities and Trade Fee and the Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee.
It was unclear whether or not Mr. Bankman-Fried would return to court docket once more this week to handle his extradition. Mark Cohen, his lawyer in New York who was employed to deal with the federal prosecution, was not current within the courtroom within the Bahamas.
Mr. Cohen didn’t return requests for remark.
Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, has been held in custody within the Bahamas since Dec. 12, when he was arrested at his luxurious condominium complicated. Final week, federal prosecutors introduced a grand jury had indicted him on eight counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, cash laundering and a marketing campaign finance violation.
He has been accused of utilizing billions in prospects deposits to finance a cryptocurrency buying and selling agency he managed, make lavish actual property purchases, spend money on different corporations and donate funds to politicians. Federal prosecutors and U.S. regulators contend he orchestrated a yearslong scheme to defraud prospects, buyers and lenders.
At a bail listening to within the Bahamas final week, Mr. Bankman-Fried mentioned he wouldn’t waive his proper to contest extradition. After he was denied bail, he was moved from a police holding cell to the Caribbean island nation’s infamous Fox Hill jail, which has been broadly criticized for its poor residing circumstances.
He was anticipated to reverse his place on extradition when he appeared on Monday morning at Justice of the Peace Courtroom in Nassau. However the proceedings had been thrown into chaos.
“No matter path acquired him right here this morning, it didn’t contain me,” Mr. Roberts informed the choose in entrance of a packed courtroom. The listening to was adjourned so Mr. Roberts might converse privately with Mr. Bankman-Fried.
The Aftermath of FTX’s Downfall
The sudden collapse of the crypto change has left the trade surprised.
When the listening to resumed, the confusion continued. Mr. Roberts mentioned Mr. Bankman-Fried needed to decide on extradition however wanted “a bit extra info.” He additionally mentioned Mr. Bankman-Fried wanted time to talk together with his attorneys in america.
A court docket officer indicated that Mr. Bankman-Fried could be taken again to jail. “I actually really feel it’s a wasted day,” mentioned the Justice of the Peace choose, Shaka Serville.
Exterior the courthouse within the Bahamas, some individuals, together with those that mentioned they’d invested in cryptocurrency and accomplished enterprise with FTX, confirmed as much as show their anger with Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Erin Gambrel, who flew to Nassau from Dallas to attend the listening to, was considered one of them. She mentioned she had shared workplace area with FTX earlier this 12 months within the Bahamas, the place she met Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Ms. Gambrel mentioned needed to see him “go away for a very long time.” She didn’t make investments with FTX, however mentioned a few of her pals did.
“He’s ruined tens of millions of lives,” she mentioned. “He’s brought about pals of mine to lose their life financial savings.”
Quite a lot of lawsuits looking for class-action standing have been filed in opposition to Mr. Bankman-Fried in america.