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Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to extradition, clearing path for transport to US


(NEW YORK) — Sam Bankman-Fried agreed to extradition in a Bahamian court on Wednesday, clearing the way for his transport to the U.S. to face federal charges.

The disgraced former CEO is expected to be put on a U.S. government plane for a flight to New York.

“I hereby consent in writing to be extradited without formal extradition proceedings,” Bankman-Fried said in a signed affidavit.

He took the witness stand to confirm his signature and that his decision was voluntary.

“I therefore formally commit you to custody while you await your extradition,” Magistrate Shaka Serville said.

The move came a day after Bankman-Fried signed extradition papers in the Bahamas, where he lived in a multimillion-dollar mansion, after waffling on the decision since his initial court appearance last week.

Bankman-Fried was arrested last week in the Bahamas after federal prosecutors in New York filed an eight-count indictment including allegations of fraud and conspiracy.

He had been expected in court Tuesday but did not appear, even as his lawyers and U.S. consular officials waited for two hours.

At a court hearing last week, Bankman-Fried declined to waive his right to challenge extradition to the U.S. However, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News ahead of a court hearing on Monday that Bankman-Fried had reversed his position and was prepared to waive extradition, setting up a move to custody in the U.S.

At the court hearing on Monday, however, Bankman-Fried did not waive his right to deny extradition as expected, instead asking to see a copy of the U.S. indictment and speak to his New York-based attorney.

Bankman-Fried has been held in the medical ward of the island’s Fox Hill prison, after an application for bail was denied when a judge determined he was too much of a flight risk.

In addition to the criminal charges, Bankman-Fried faces related civil lawsuits from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

There are more than $8 billion in customer losses, said Gretchen Lowe of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal agency.

Some crypto traders, who deposited their savings on the platform, fear they may never get their money back.

John Ray, the new CEO of FTX, who oversaw the dissolution of Enron, told members of the House last week that FTX lacked corporate controls to an extent he had never witnessed, characterizing the company’s conduct as “old-fashioned embezzlement.”

“I’ve never seen an utter lack of record keeping,” Ray said. “Absolutely no internal controls.”

Bankman-Fried, in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in November, denied knowing “there was any improper use of customer funds.”

“I really deeply wish that I had taken like a lot more responsibility for understanding what the details were of what was going on there,” Bankman-Fried told Stephanopoulos. “A lot of people got hurt, and that’s on me.”

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