Bahamas orders Bankman-Fried extradited to face US fraud charges

The Bahamas ordered Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency business FTX, to be extradited Wednesday to face charges of fraud in New York.

A statement by Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder said Bankman-Fried had waived his right to challenge the extradition.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Minister Frederick Mitchell had signed a warrant for Bankman-Fried’s surrender to US authorities under a bilateral extradition treaty.

Local television Eyewitness News said he was expected to depart the Bahamas late Wednesday.

The decision came nine days after the one-time cryptocurrency wunderkind was arrested at his luxury Nassau apartment on a US request.

Just weeks earlier his three-year-old, Bahamas-based virtual currency firm FTX and sister trading house Alameda Research collapsed into bankruptcy, dissolving a business that had been valued by the market at $32 billion.

On December 13 federal prosecutors in New York unveiled an indictment of him with eight counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and election finance violations.

They alleged that the 30-year-old cheated investors in FTX, and misused funds that belonged to customers of FTX and Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried “was orchestrating a massive, years-long fraud, diverting billions of dollars of the trading platform’s customer funds for his own personal benefit and to help grow his crypto empire,” US prosecutors said.

Separately the SEC accused him of violating securities laws.

Bankman-Fried, a Bahamas permanent resident, spent the past nine days in Nassau’s Fox Hill prison, weighing his choices before telling the Nassau magistrate court Wednesday that he would not fight extradition.

There was no immediate information on when he would arrive in New York and appear in court.

According to US media, his attorneys were trying to negotiate with US justice authorities for his release on bail.

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