Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is being extradited to the U.S., to face federal fraud charges related to the misappropriation of billions of dollars of customer funds, Bahamian officials said Wednesday.
The 30-year-old one-time mogul had been held in the Bahamas following his arrest earlier this month, but abruptly dropped a challenge to be transferred to the custody of U.S. authorities where he is to face prosecution in New York.
The Bahamian Office of Attorney General Ryan Pinder said Bankman-Fried would depart for the U.S. Wednesday night.
U.S. officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Before the spectacular financial collapse, Bankman-Fried was the face of FTX, a global company with more than 130 affiliates that allowed individual investors to trade cryptocurrencies, growing to be the third-largest exchange by volume. The company’s commercials featured prominent celebrities, and its logo appeared on an NBA stadium and on MLB umpire uniforms.
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Bankman-Fried is accused of using billions of dollars of FTX funds to make personal investments and millions of dollars in contributions to political campaigns while repaying billions in loans owed by Alameda Research, a cryptocurrency hedge fund that he also founded, according to court documents.
The California man is charged with two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, two separate counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Each of the charges carry maximum punishments of 20 years in prison.
Bankman-Fried also is charged with conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit campaign finance violations, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years.
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Story Credit: usatoday.com