Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of now bankrupt cryptocurrency company, FTX is set to be extradited to the United States.
The 30-year-old gave his consent for the extradition according to an affidavit read by his lawyer on Wednesday at a court hearing in The Bahamas.
Last week, federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged him with fraud as he’s accused of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer assets to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research. U.S Attorney, Damian Williams described this as “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.”
According to a court filing, FTX owed its 50 largest creditors a total of almost $3.1bn (£2.5bn). “I didn’t ever try to commit fraud,” Bankman-Fried said in a Nov. 30 interview at the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit, adding he doesn’t personally think he has any criminal liability.
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas last week on a U.S. extradition request. Reports initially claimed that he would contest the extradition request, but now he has decided to consent to it. According to the affidavit read by his lawyer, his decision to go along with the request is out of a “desire to make the relevant customers whole”.
The judge said he was satisfied that all legal requirements for extradition had been met and that Bankman-Fried had not been “forced, coerced or threatened” into making the decision.
“I therefore formally commit you to custody while you await your extradition,” Judge Shaka Serville said.