Sam Bankman-Fried, the jailed founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, reportedly signed papers on Dec. 20 that will soon see him handed over to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and flown to the United States to face criminal charges.
The move was expected, as Bankman-Fried was reported to have agreed in principle on Dec. 19 to being extradited to the U.S., despite earlier reports indicating that he wanted to see the indictment against him first.
ABC News reported that Bankman-Fried signed extradition papers on Dec. 20, citing the Bahamas' acting commissioner of corrections, Doan Cleare.
A Dec. 20 report from Bloomberg quoted Cleare as saying that the exchange founder signed surrender documents on Dec. 20, and was set on Dec. 21 to sign another set of papers waiving his rights to fight extradition, which could see him placed on a flight bound for the U.S. that same day.
Cointelegraph contacted the acting commissioner’s office for confirmation but did not immediately receive a response.
After the final paper is signed, Bankman-Fried is expected to be whisked away by FBI agents to a private airport and transit to the U.S. on a private flight, where he faces eight counts in an indictment by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The New York Times reported on Dec. 20 that Bankman-Fried’s legal team is currently in discussion with federal prosecutors to allow him to be released on bail when he is extradited to the United States.
The agreement would require approval from the federal judge overseeing SBF’s case, and could include “highly restrictive conditions” such as home detention and electronic monitoring, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
He faces charges from the Department of Justice relating to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities and securities fraud and campaign finance violations.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
The FTX founder faces further charges from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly violating commodity laws and defrauding investors.
SBF not in the hospital
Meanwhile, a Dec. 20 Instagram post from local media outlet Bahamas Press claiming that Bankman-Fried was being “rushed” to the hospital from prison had made the rounds on social media, but was debunked soon after.
Related: SBF's legal battle still has "a lot to play out," according to legal commentators
New York Times financial reporter Rob Copeland tweeted that he spoke to the head of the prison, who said the exchange founder was eating lunch in the medical bay and that the rumor was false.
There are reports that @SBF_FTX was rushed from his Bahamian prison to the hospital.— Rob Copeland (@realrobcopeland) December 20, 2022
These are false, the head of the prison tells me. As a few moments ago, Sam was eating lunch. He is still there in the medical bay where he has been held in a single room with four roommates.
Bahamas Press then posted an update saying its sources were now reporting t the claim was untrue.
Update (Dec. 21, 1:25 AM UTC): Information added from a Bloomberg report citing Bankman-Fried will transit to the U.S. on Dec. 21.
Update (Dec. 21, 2:48 AM UTC): Added report from NYT suggesting Bankman-Fried is discussing being released on bail upon arriving in the United States.