Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to be extradited to the United States, according to an affidavit read by his attorney at a court hearing in the Bahamas yesterday.
It paves the way for the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX to be flown to the United States where he faces fraud charges.
The Dec. 20 affidavit said he chose to partially consent to the extradition out of a “desire to cure the affected customers.”
Officials from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service – which handles the transportation of people in US custody – have arrived in the capital, Nassau, a person familiar with the matter said.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Mr. Bankman-Fried would leave the Caribbean nation for New York.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan last week accused the 30-year-old cryptocurrency mogul of stealing billions of dollars in client assets to offset losses at his hedge fund Alameda Research, in what US Attorney Damian Williams called “one of the largest financial scams in American history”.
Mr. Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas, where he lives and where FTX is based, on a US extradition request. He initially said he would appeal the extradition, but Reuters and other media outlets reported over the weekend that he would reverse that decision.
US-based defense attorney for Mr Bankman-Fried, Mark Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan declined to comment.
Mr Bankman-Fried has acknowledged risk management failures at FTX but said he does not believe he is criminally responsible.
Yesterday’s hearing this week will follow a confusing series of events that left unclear the status of Bankman-Fried’s expected extradition.
Mr. Bankman-Fried went on a crypto boom to become a multiple billionaire and an influential political donor in the US before the FTX crash wiped out his fortune. The $32 billion exchange filed for bankruptcy on November 11, and Mr. Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO the same day.
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