Bankman-Fried is accused of conspiring to defraud lenders and consumers through wire fraud, as well as securities fraud, commodities fraud, money laundering, and other offenses.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is due to appear in court in the Bahamas on December 19 to request a reversal of his earlier decision to contest extradition, according to Reuters on December 17, citing a source familiar with the situation.
Bankman-Fried would be able to testify in a US court by approving extradition. He is accused of conspiring to commit securities fraud, commodities fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and violating the campaign finance laws. He is also accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud on customers and lenders.
The development comes after the Bankman-bail Fried’s was denied on December 13 because of the “risk of flight.” SBF does not have a criminal past and suffers from melancholy and insomnia, according to the former CEO’s attorneys. On December 15, the Bahamas Supreme Court apparently received a second application for bail.
Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison if found guilty. The case still has a lot to play out before he receives a verdict in the next months or possibly years.
The former CEO of FTX has retained Mark Cohen, a former federal prosecutor, to represent him in court. Cohen, who co-founded the law firm Cohen & Gresser, was a member of the defense team in the well-known child trafficking case involving Ghislaine Maxwell.
The sole jail in the Bahamas, Fox Hill Prison, is housing Bankman-Fried. Fox Hill living conditions were “harsh” and overcrowded, with subpar nutrition and sanitation, according to a 2021 U.S. State Department report. Correctional officials are claimed to have physically assaulted detainees.
Ex-CEO of Alameda Research, a sister company of Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, has also assembled a defense group. Ellison will be represented by Stephanie Avakian, a former senior cryptocurrency regulator with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in an ongoing federal investigation.
Avakian is now WilmerHale’s chair of Securities and Financial Services. She increased the Enforcement Division’s surveillance of cryptocurrencies in her capacity at the SEC.