Sam Bankman-Fried: FTX founder leaves Bahamas to face charges in US

Failed cryptocurrency exchange co-founder waived right to challenge extradition, Bahamas attorney general says

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, arrives at the magistrate's court building in Nassau, the Bahamas, on Wednesday. Reuters
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Disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried was on a plane from the Bahamas on Wednesday night to face criminal charges in the US.

Mr Bankman-Fried, 30, was in the custody of US agents when he boarded a small plane at a private airport in Nassau. His flight left a little before 7.45pm local time, Bloomberg reported.

Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder said Mr Bankman-Fried had waived his right to challenge the extradition.

Mr Bankman-Fried was expected to land near New York City, where he faces charges for defrauding FTX customers of billions of dollars.

A New York prosecutor been charged him with eight counts of financial crimes, including wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations.

A plane taxis towards a runway with FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried on board in Nassau, the Bahamas. Getty

Mr Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas on December 12 and is accused by a US prosecutor of “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history”.

He rode a cryptocurrency wave to become a billionaire several times over and an influential political donor.

US regulators accuse him of carrying out a multiyear scheme to defraud investors.

Mr Bankman-Fried's cryptocurrency exchange crashed after customers became concerned he was commingling funds with his company Alameda Research.

The $32 billion exchange declared bankruptcy on November 11, when he also resigned as chief executive.

Mr Bankman-Fried initially resisted extradition.

He stayed in custody before his trip to the US and was denied bail last week as a judge considered the flight risk to be too great.

Updated: December 22, 2022, 6:23 AM