Sam Bankman-Fried, the former chief executive of FTX, has reportedly reconsidered his earlier decision to contest extradition and is expected to appear in court in the Bahamas on December 19 to ask for a reversal, Reuters reported on December 17, citing a person who familiar with the matter. .
By consenting to extradition, Bankman-Fried will be able to appear in a court in the United States. He faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud against customers and lenders, securities fraud, commodity fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States, and campaign finance law violations.
The move follows Bankman-Fried̵[ads1]7;s bail denial on December 13 due to the “flight risk”. The former CEO’s lawyers argued that SBF has no criminal record and suffered from depression and insomnia. A new application for bail was reportedly filed in the Bahamas Supreme Court on December 15.
If convicted, Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison. However, there is “a lot to play out” in the case until he gets a final verdict in the next few months or even years, legal commentators told Cointelegraph.
Related: FTX ex-employee: Extravagant spending and cult-like worship of SBF
A former federal prosecutor, Mark Cohen, has been hired by the former FTX boss to act as his defense attorney. As reported by Cointelegraph, Cohen is the co-founder of the law firm Cohen & Gresser, and was a member of the defense team in Ghislaine Maxwell’s high-profile child trafficking case.
Bankman-Fried is being held at Fox Hill Prison, the only prison in the Bahamas. According to a US State Department report released in 2021, Fox Hill conditions were “harsh” and overcrowded, with poor sanitation and nutrition. The prisoners are said to have been physically abused by the correctional service.
Ex-CEO of Alameda Research, a sister company to FTX, Caroline Ellison, has also formed a defense team. Stephanie Avakian, a former top crypto regulator with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will represent Ellison in an ongoing federal investigation. Avakain is currently chairman of the board of securities and financial services at the law firm WilmerHale. In her role at the SEC, she expanded cryptocurrency oversight at the Enforcement Division.