- The Bahamian authorities arrested SBF on December 12, 2022.
- SBF’s legal team declared to fight against extradition.
- The extradition hearing is scheduled on February 8, 2023.
The “white knight” of the crypto industry, infamous ex-CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, was arrested on December 12, 2022, by the Bahamian authorities and is being held at Fox Hill, pending his extradition in the US.
SBF is being charged with wire and mail fraud, money laundering & many other crimes related to deceit, which amount to billions of dollars. Some say that he might be sentenced to 115 years if he were to be convicted.
Although his legal team presented a bail plea of $250,000 for the defendant on December 13 but was denied by Chief Magistrate Joy Ann Fergusion-Pratt, calling him a flight risk. And SBF was ordered by the court to be sent to the country’s department of correction.
Sam is being held at the infamous Fox Hill, which, per the US State Department report of 2021, “harsh” conditions, dotted with problems like overcrowding, damp and cramped cells, rodent infestations, and prisoners relying on buckets as toilets. However, the authorities confirmed that the conditions have improved recently.
No Special Treatment.
Bahamian Commissioner of Correction Services, Doan Cleare, cleared during a telephonic interview that Sam Bankman-Fried will not receive any special treatment during his jail time despite being a celebrity of sorts.
He is now being held in sickbay, with five more inmates in the facility. They shall undergo an orientation program before being transferred to their overcrowded cells.
Sam’s US Extradition.
The Bahamas and the United States already have an extradition treaty in place since 1994. The US authorities are trying to bring him onto US soil for questioning. However, his legal team has already declared in the Bahamas Magistrate Court that they will fight the extradition if the US requests it. The hearing for SBF extradition is scheduled on February 8, 2023.
Why was he arrested so late?
Smart play by DoJ
The first thing required during an investigation is to remain quiet and shut up. Even during movies, we’ve seen officers saying, “you have the right to remain silent, anything and everything you say can be used against you in court.” DoJ played a very intelligent move here, allowing him to appear in interviews, talk shows, etc. gathering all his statements that will now be used in court.
His statements might have damaged chances of FTX emerging unscathed from bankruptcy said the bankruptcy attorney representative of FTX.
The Department of Justice is believed to already have prepared an arrest warrant should SBF land on US soil.
Although the US and the Bahamas have had an extradition treaty since 1994, preparing an indictment that could be in line with the extradition treaty, and for such a highly complicated case with such huge stakes, require utmost care. Any flaw could result in delayed proceedings, which might cause delayed delivery of justice.