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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried back in Bahamian custody after apparent confusion in court over extradition

The 30-year-old FTX CEO, who was arrested Dec. 12 in the Bahamas, initially resisted extradition to the U.S. to face a spate of charges, including fraud.

Former FTX CEO and co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in court Monday and was remanded back into Bahamian custody with no final decision about his extradition.

There appeared to be confusion at the hearing, as Bankman-Fried had been expected to waive his extradition rights, said a source with direct knowledge of the situation, but Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said Monday he was “shocked” that Bankman-Fried was in court.

His attorney added, “I did not request him to be here this morning.”

A defense lawyer told the magistrate judge that Bankman-Fried wanted to see the indictment before he agreed to be extradited to the U.S., Reuters reported.

Bankman-Fried, 30, appeared disheveled in court despite being dressed in a blue suit, a white shirt and dress shoes. He often kept his head in his hands, and his knees were shaking in the packed courtroom, full of members of the media and crypto community.

If Bankman-Fried does waive his extradition rights, it will be a stunning reversal of course, as his lawyers initially said they'd fight extradition after he was arrested Dec. 12 in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried, once the most prominent name in crypto, has seen his empire fall into disgrace over the past few weeks.

Last week, he was indicted in New York federal court on eight counts spanning wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and violations of campaign finance laws. Prosecutors alleged he "orchestrated yearslong fraud" on investors and customers.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission further charged him with defrauding investors and enriching his private crypto hedge fund, Alameda.

At a congressional hearing on FTX’s collapse and missteps last week, the company’s new CEO, John J. Ray III, lashed out at FTX’s leadership under Bankman-Fried.

“The FTX Group’s collapse appears to stem from absolute concentration of control in the hands of a small group of grossly inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals who failed to implement virtually any of the systems or controls that are necessary for a company entrusted with other people’s money or assets,” Ray told lawmakers.