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Bankman-Fried Agrees To Extradition In Federal Fraud Case

Cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited to the U.S. after a chaotic morning of legal maneuvering in which he was back and forth between court and prison in the Bahamas, the New York Times reports. Bankman-Fried is facing fraud charges in the U.S. related to the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, which was based in the Bahamas. Jerone Roberts, a local defense lawyer for Bankman-Fried, said that his client had agreed to extradition voluntarily, defying “the strongest possible legal advice.” “We as counsel will prepare the necessary documents to trigger the court,” Roberts said. “Mr. Bankman-Fried wishes to put the customers right, and that is what has driven his decision.” Bankman-Fried initially indicated that he would challenge the extradition after being arrested at his luxury apartment complex last week. He changed his mind and prepared to return to the U.S. to be arraigned on a criminal indictment.

On Monday, Bankman-Fried appeared at a Magistrate Court hearing in Nassau, the Bahamas capital. The hearing had been scheduled for Bankman-Fried to tell the authorities that he would not contest the extradition. Roberts said he was “shocked” to see his client in court, and requested at least one 45-minute break to confer privately with Bankman-Fried. Roberts said Bankman-Fried needed more information and wanted to read the indictment filed by federal prosecutors before deciding whether to go along with the extradition. The judge ordered Bankman-Fried to return to the Fox Hill prison in Nassau, where he has been held since last week. “I certainly feel it is a wasted day,” said the judge, Shaka Serville. Not long after the hearing ended, Roberts said Bankman-Fried was agreeing to the extradition after all.

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