Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, who has been in the custody of Bahamian authorities, is reportedly on the way to the airport where he will be handed over to U.S. authorities and flown to New York.
It comes after Bankman-Fried reportedly appeared in a hearing of the Bahamas Magistrate Court on Dec. 21 — the third since his arrest — where he waived his right to a formal extradition process that could have taken weeks.
Officials from the U.S. Embassy, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals Service were reportedly in attendance to facilitate Bankman-Fried’s handover, for which he had first signed papers on Dec. 20. He was driven from the courtroom in Nassau following the hearing.
A statement from The Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder later confirmed that Bankman-Fried “will depart The Bahamas for the United States tonight.”
The Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas announced the extradition to the United States of Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”), the former CEO of FTX. SBF will depart from The Bahamas for the United States tonight. pic.twitter.com/WttWmNpIw4— Latrae L. Rahming (DOC) (@latraelrahming) December 21, 2022
Reuters reported that SBF’s legal team said the former CEO was “anxious to leave” the Bahamas. Jerome Roberts, who is on Bankman-Fried’s legal team, reportedly heard SBF say on Dec. 19 that his decision was driven by wanting “to put the customers right.” Over 1 million creditors from FTX have not had access to their funds for weeks.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has signed legal papers paving the way for his extradition from The Bahamas to the U.S., where he faces fraud charges over the cryptocurrency exchange's collapse https://t.co/D6z3I08l0t pic.twitter.com/gmVGnq18it— Reuters (@Reuters) December 21, 2022
Officials in the Bahamas arrested Bankman-Fried on Dec. 12 as part of extradition proceedings with the U.S., where he faces charges from the Justice Department related to defrauding investors and lenders, as well as complaints from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. Before SBF’s resignation on Nov. 11, FTX and associated individuals allegedly violated campaign finance laws with “dark money” donations and used customer assets to fund investments at Alameda Research.
Related: The outcome of SBF's prosecution could determine how the IRS treats your FTX losses
Since being denied bail, the former CEO has spent more than a week in the custody of the Bahamas’ Fox Hill Prison, a facility with previously reported cases of physical abuse against prisoners and “harsh” conditions. He would likely be entitled to another bail hearing as part of court proceedings in the U.S. once his extradition was completed.
Update Dec. 21, 10:09 pm UTC: Added reporting that Sam Bankman-Fried has been driven to the airport.
Update Dec. 21, 11:45 pm UTC: Added statement from The Bahamas Attorney General.