Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has reportedly agreed to be extradited to the United States to face trial. Bankman-Fried is facing eight charges that carry a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.
According to ABC News, Bankman-Fried signed documents for his extradition on December 20, and is expected to sign additional documents renouncing his right to fight extradition on December 21. If all goes according to plan, Bankman-Fried will be handed over to the FBI and transported to the US on a private plane on December 21.
The extradition hearing scheduled for February 8 in the Bahamas is now likely to be cancelled. It is not clear why Bankman-Fried has agreed to extradition, but some have speculated that his lawyers may have negotiated a deal with US prosecutors for his release on bail once he is extradited. However, such a deal would still need to be approved by a federal judge.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas in November on charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges stem from a scheme to manipulate the price of certain penny stocks through the use of a “pump and dump” scheme. Bankman-Fried has denied the charges.
This news is a reminder of the risks and uncertainties involved in the cryptocurrency industry, and the importance of following the law and acting ethically in business. It will be interesting to see how the case against Bankman-Fried plays out and what impact it may have on the wider cryptocurrency industry.