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FTX Crash: Sam Bankman-Fried denied bail in his first court appearance in the Bahamas

T.I Ukende
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of FTX, will be kept in detention after a Bahamas judge decided on Tuesday that bail should not be granted.

On February 8, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. ET, Magistrate Judge Joyann Ferguson-Pratt mandated that an extradition hearing take place. Initially, Bankman-counsel Fried’s requested that the judge take into account releasing him on a $250,000 bail since they said he needed to be able to routinely take medication, including the over-the-counter allergy medicine Zyrtec, as well as adhere to his vegan diet. Police had earlier that day taken Bankman-parents Fried’s to his home in Albany, Bahamas, where they had gone to pick up Adderall.

In his testimony on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried revealed that he takes 10 mg of Adderall every four hours in addition to Emsam patches for depression.

Bail for Bankman-Fried, according to Bahamas prosecutors, would violate a treaty with the United States that mandates that suspects be detained while extradition procedures are ongoing. Bankman-Fried informed the judge that he would not give up the right to contest the extradition request and hinted that he would try to stay in the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried was detained on Monday night as a result of American prosecutors informing the Royal Bahamas Police Force of a sealed indictment. The Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s Office unveiled the indictment earlier on Tuesday, noting that the charges against the former FTX CEO included claims of wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and campaign finance violations.

“For every day of the past month, the dedicated prosecutors of this office and our partners [in the] FBI, [Securities and Exchange Commission] and [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] have been working around the clock to figure out what happened and to start the process of seeking justice,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said during a press conference. “FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, collapsed one month ago, destroying billions of dollars in customer value.” “This morning, we unsealed an eight-count indictment accusing Samuel Bankman-Fried, the creator of FTX, of a number of interconnected fraud schemes that aided in FTX’s demise.”

According to Williams, Bankman-Fried was charged by an American grand jury last Friday, and on Monday, an arrest warrant was carried out.

Along with the US Department of Justice, the SEC and CFTC filed lawsuits against Bankman-Fried on Tuesday for alleged securities and commodities fraud.

Investigations into Bankman-Fried and FTX are being conducted on both a civil and criminal level by Bahamas government officials.

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