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The next chapter in the fall of Sam Bankman-Fried is about to begin, as multiple news outlets are reporting that the former CEO of FTX is heading back to the United States as early as Wednesday.
As reported by NBC News, Bankman-Fried signed the paperwork necessary for his extradition to the U.S. to take place. A Tuesday report from ABC News corroborated the development, adding that the disgraced crypto executive failed to appear in court as expected that day, after a "confusing" appearance on Monday was deemed "a waste of time."
The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services confirmed the planned departure.
"He left from here in good spirits," Doan Cleare, Acting Commissioner of Corrections, told The Tribune. "He was a happy, jolly person."
Cleare said Bankman-Fried did not say why he was not fighting his extradition but noted that it could take years. He told the Bahamanian newspaper that Bankman-Fried would probably prefer to spend that time in the U.S. than in the island nation where Bankman-Fried and FTX have operated since October 2021.
A month after putting FTX, once the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Bankman-Fried was arrested by Bahamian police and held at the notorious Fox Hill prison.
The day after his arrest, a Bahamian judge denied Bankman-Fried's request for bail, calling the former billionaire a flight risk. At the time, Bankman-Fried had told the courts that he reserved the right to fight any extradition order to the U.S. and was originally scheduled for a February 8, 2023, extradition hearing.
Once he lands in the U.S., Bankman-Fried is facing several charges, including fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy linked to the collapse of FTX. If found guilty on all counts, the former billionaire could spend the rest of his life in prison.
In a 2021 report, the U.S. State Department said conditions at Fox Hill prison pose “significant human rights issues.” The report cited extreme overcrowding, poor nutrition, and inadequate sanitation. Many cells were reported to have been infested with a combination of rats, maggots, and insects. The report also cited a frequent inability for inmates to receive adequate medical care.
Totally unfair," Cleare told the newspaper. "You know that’s an old report."
The Office of the Commissioner of Corrections of the Bahamas was unable to provide a comment to Decrypt.