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FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to extradition in crypto fraud case

Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas last week, a month after crypto giant FTX collapsed. He has been charged with fraud and other crimes.

Indicted FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried agreed Tuesday to be extradited from the Bahamas to the U.S., a Bahamian court official said.

The paperwork has been filed with the court, and Bankman-Fried will fly to the U.S. on Wednesday, said Doan Cleare, the acting commissioner of corrections for the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

Bankman-Fried, 30, is accused of misappropriating billions of dollars deposited in FTX, a huge cryptocurrency exchange that collapsed in November.

He was arrested in the Bahamas on Dec. 12, and a U.S. federal indictment charging him with fraud, money laundering and campaign finance offenses was unsealed the next day. He is also accused of making "tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions” to both Democratic and Republican candidates and campaign committees, prosecutors say.

The alleged fraud against customers began in 2019, the Justice Department has said.

Gretchen Lowe, the acting director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Enforcement Division, has pegged customer losses at more than $8 billion.

At one time FTX was reportedly valued at $32 billion and seen as the face of the industry. The MIT-educated Bankman-Fried had been hailed as a kind of crypto genius.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is led away in handcuffs by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau on Dec.13, 2022.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is led away in handcuffs by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau on Dec.13, 2022.Mario Duncanson / AFP - Getty Images

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had previously said they would fight the extradition.

Once he is back in the U.S., Bankman-Fried can request that he be released on a bail. Last week, a Bahamian judge denied his request for bail.

If he is convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in jail.