•Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced FTX founder facing eight criminal fraud charges from the Department of Justice, landed at Westchester County Airport in New York on Wednesday night after extradition from The Bahamas.
• While he was in the air, the Southern District of New York announced that two of SBF’s closest allies have flipped on him: FTX co-founder Gary Wang and the ex-CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, secured their cooperation in the investigation and pleaded guilty to their own charges.
• A Bahamian judge signed the order to hand over Bankman-Fried to U.S. authorities on Tuesday after SBF on Monday suddenly waived his earlier exercised right to contest extradition, and said he would not fight an extradition order after all.
• Avoiding a process that could take years, Bankman-Fried fast-tracked his removal from the Bahamas. Acting corrections commissioner Doan Cleare believes he did this to avoid an extended stay in Fox Hill prison — the island nation’s only prison which has been marred by reports of overcrowding and deplorable conditions.
Bankman Fried in U.S custody
Despite public scrutiny over his alleged criminal activity, Sam Bankman-Fried, the one-time FTX founder, has finally arrived in New York this week following an extradition process from The Bahamas. Though details have been sparse since his charges of fraud were issued by the Department of Justice, this step marks a formative moment as he prepares to face the court and answer numerous federal indictments. With a career spanning both traditional and digital finance, this case could be a pivotal turning point for both Bankman-Fried and crypto markets as a whole.
Details of the transfer
On Tuesday, a Bahamian judge signed the order to transfer Bankman-Fried to U.S. authorities. This came as a surprise after SBF had previously exercised his right to contest extradition, only to suddenly waive it the day before. He then announced his decision not to fight an extradition order at all. The decision caused considerable speculation as to what might have changed between Monday and Tuesday, however, no concrete answers were found and SBF remains in U.S. custody awaiting an upcoming trial.
We do know currently Sam Bankman-Fried has been extradited from The Bahamas to face federal criminal fraud charges in the Southern District of New York after waiving his right to contest extradition on Monday followed by the judicial signing of an order on Tuesday. This speedy transfer avoided what could have been an extended stay at Fox Hill Prison, as well as any potential delays related to appeals or other legal proceedings which could have impacted the progress of the investigation into Bankman-Fried’s alleged financial misconduct. Ultimately, this case serves as an example of successful cooperation between SDNY prosecutors and FTX executives in pursuit of justice against illegal activities related to cryptocurrency trading platforms such as FTX.
Betrayed by those he trusted
Bankman-Fried was officially signed over to U.S. authorities by a Bahamian judge. Some speculate he did this to avoid an extended stay at Fox Hill Prison — a detention facility known for its overcrowding and deplorable conditions, others speculate it may have been due to pressure from FTX executives Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, both of whom plead guilty to their own charges earlier this month and agreed to assist with the government’s investigation into SBF’s activities.
SBF’s empire has completely crumbled. Just as the plane was in the air, the Southern District of New York made its announcement: two of SBF’s most trusted allies had betrayed him. Gary Wang, founder of FTX, and Caroline Ellison, ex-CEO of Alameda Research had cut deals to save themselves and help take down SBF. Already guilty of their own offenses, both flipped on their ally in a swift move that could spell out disaster for SBF who now faces possible conviction from federal charges derived from the evidence against him from his former allies. Their betrayal has certainly rocked the foundation of what was once an impenetrable web.