By KEN SWEET AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Bankman-Fried is back in a Bahamian court Wednesday for an extradition hearing that could clear the way for the one-time billionaire to be sent to the U.S. to face criminal charges related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
In a court in Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said he had agreed to be extradited to the U.S., but the necessary paperwork had not yet been written up. If approved, Bankman-Fried could be on a plane to the U.S. as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Bahamian authorities arrested Bankman-Fried last week at the request of the U.S. government. U.S. prosecutors allege he played a central role in the rapid collapse of FTX and hid its problems from the public and investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Bankman-Fried illegally used investors’ money to buy real estate on behalf of himself and his family.
The 30-year-old could potentially spend the rest of his life in jail.
Bankman-Fried was denied bail Friday after a Bahamian judge ruled that he posed a flight risk. The founder and former CEO of FTX, once worth tens of billions of dollars on paper, is being held in the Bahamas’ Fox Hill prison, which has been has been cited by human rights activists as having poor sanitation and as being infested with rats and insects.
Once he’s back in the U.S., Bankman-Fried’s attorney will be able to request that he be released on bail.