Sam Bankman-Fried could be housed in same prison Ghislaine Maxwell was in after agreeing to extradition

The disgraced FTX founder will return to the US from The Bahamas to face criminal charges

Abe Asher
Tuesday 20 December 2022 21:59 GMT
Who is Sam Bankman-Fried? The FTX founder arrested in Bahamas

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has agreed to be extradited to the US from his home in The Bahamas to face $1.8bn fraud charges.

When he returns to the US, Mr Bankman-Fried will reportedly likely be incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Brooklyn — the same facility where Ghislaine Maxwell was at one time held before she was convicted of child sex trafficking and other offenses.

Mr Bankman-Fried was initially expected to fight extradition to the US after being charged with fraud in the aftermath of the collapse of his cryptocurrency empire, but reports on Tuesday indicated that he has given up that fight. It is not yet clear when he might return to the country of his birth.

Mr Bankman-Fried was in court in The Bahamas on Monday, where, according to reporting from Eye Witness News Bahamas, the judge court short a hearing in which Mr Bankman-Fried was expected to drop his fight against extradition and sent him back to jail.

The FTX founder, 30, was arrested in his apartment complex in The Bahamas in the early hours of December 12. He had faced mounting scrutiny in the aftermath of the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange, but had said that he did not believe he would face criminal charges.

Instead, the Southern District of New York has charged Mr Bankman-Fried with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

If he is held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, he will join Maxwell, the rapper R. Kelly, and pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkrelli as disgraced celebrities who have been temporarily incarcerated at the federal facility.

Ms Maxwell found her time at the facility dehumanising, with her lawyers complaining that the jail was infested with cockroaches.

Mr Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace happened suddenly in November, when FTX filed for bankruptcy protection and Mr Bankman-Fried’s fortune — which amounted to tens of billions of dollars — evaporated.

The 30-year-old, whose parents are professors at Stanford, was a celebrity in the cryptocurrency world who made appearances with celebrities, star athletes, and former heads of government like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. He was a major political donor, giving to candidates from both parties and emerging as one of the top donors to the Democratic Party during the 2022 election cycle.

He espoused a philosophy of effective altruism and said he wanted to live in a moral manner, but then stated that his commitment to effective altruism was insincere — a “dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shiboleths [sic] and so everyone likes us”

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