Sam Bankman-Fried is on his way to an airport to be flown to the US to face a litany of criminal charges after a Bahamas judge approved his extradition.
The FTX co-founder was whisked away from a Nassau court in a black SUV at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday under heavy guard. He’s expected to be taken into custody by US authorities and flown to New York.
“I do wish to waive my rights to formal extradition proceedings,” Bankman-Fried told a judge earlier on Wednesday, dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and socks and brown leather shoes with laces removed. “I am doing well,” he said earlier when asked by the judge about his condition.
On the stand, Bankman-Fried, 30, described himself as an entrepreneur and executive.
The developments cap a tumultuous week of machinations over when Bankman-Fried would be sent to New York, where federal prosecutors have accused him of crimes including fraud related to the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange. If convicted of all counts, he could face dozens of years behind bars.
Since being denied bail at an initial court hearing last week, Bankman-Fried has been held in a correctional facility on the outskirts of Nassau known as Fox Hill. The notorious prison is a far cry from the luxury penthouse in the island nation that he’d lived at after setting up the Bahamas as FTX’s headquarters.
Although he initially said that he would fight extradition, Bankman-Fried has more recently indicated in private conversations that he was preparing to return to the US as soon as Monday, Bloomberg News has reported. The change in attitude was in part tied to the expectation that he’ll be able to get bail in the US.
A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on conversations that his legal team is having with prosecutors.
Once back in the US, he’s likely to be arraigned within hours and his lawyers may present a case for him being granted bail. It wasn’t immediately clear at which American airport Bankman-Fried would land.
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