The founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud and securities fraud charges over the collapse of his trading platform, The Hill reported.
Prosecutors alleged that Fried was illegally using his customer’s money to purchase real estate, political donations and investments at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Earlier, he was arrested in December and even the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) has taken custody of FTX deposits valued at more than USD 3.5 billion as of November 12, according to a statement from SCB.
Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, said in court on Tuesday that his client was pleading not guilty to all eight charges against him, according to The Hill.
Bankman-Fried was released on USD 250 million bail two weeks ago on the condition that he wears an electronic monitoring device and awaits trial at his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California.
Bankman-Fried agreed to deport from the Bahamas, where he lived and ran the company, to face charges in Manhattan a week after he was arrested.
New York Times reported that his departure from the Bahamas was delayed by several hours as officials completed the final paperwork. Still, the local government eventually announced that Bankman-Fried would leave the country on December 21 night.
Once in New York, the newspaper reported in an article that he would be arraigned in Federal District Court in Manhattan, though the exact timing of the proceeding remains unclear. The charges stemmed from the collapse of Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX, which was based in the Bahamas until its bankruptcy last month, NYT reported.
According to the article, thirty-year-old Bankman-Fried has been in custody in the Bahamas since he was arrested at his luxury apartment complex on December 12.
NYT said he confirmed that he had signed documents authorising the extradition. His lawyer, Jerone Roberts, said Bankman-Fried was “anxious to leave” the Bahamas and hoped to travel as early as Wednesday, it added.
In court, Bankman-Fried told the magistrate judge, Shaka Serville, that he was “doing well.” According to NYT, asked whether he was in good health, Bankman-Fried replied, “Yes.”
NYT said Bankman-Fried wore a white shirt and a blue suit, with a plastic bag on his lap; he arrived after a breakfast of toast and jam at Fox Hill, the notorious Bahamian jail where he has been held for the last week, according to the facility’s head administrator, Doan Cleare.
The New York Times said even before the extradition, Bankman-Fried’s legal team in the US had been negotiating a possible bail package with federal prosecutors. Under the terms that have been discussed, Bankman-Fried could be released on bail with highly restrictive conditions, including home detention and electronic monitoring. The newspaper also reported that a federal judge must approve any bail arrangement. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.