Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly in talks with prosecutors over bail deal
Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team is discussing a deal with federal prosecutors that could allow the disgraced cryptocurrency tycoon to be released on bail when extradited to the US, three people say aware of the case.
The terms of the deal remain fluid, the people said, and any deal would require approval from the federal judge handling Mr. Bankman-Fried’s case. But under the terms that were discussed, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX could be released on bail with very restrictive conditions, including house arrest, two of the people said. One person said electronic monitoring was also under discussion. It was unclear what other measures might be needed.
Prosecutors for the Southern District of New York have charged Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, with fraud, accusing him of orchestrating a year-long scheme that resulted in the bankruptcy of FTX. The company was based in the Bahamas and Mr Bankman-Fried is currently imprisoned there pending extradition to the United States.
A spokesperson for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on bail talks. Mark Cohen, an attorney for Mr. Bankman-Fried in New York, did not respond to a request for comment.
Fox News earlier reported some details of the bail talks.
The charges against Mr Bankman-Fried came at the end of a saga in which one of the world’s most powerful crypto billionaires rose from industry titan to accused fraudster and saw his fortunes slump. pass out. Prior to the collapse of FTX, Mr. Bankman-Fried was a frequent presence in the halls of Congress, where he pushed legislation aimed at making the United States more friendly to the crypto industry. The fall of FTX has given the crypto industry a black eye and it is already cited as a cautionary case study.
What to know about the collapse of FTX
What is FTX?FTX is a now bankrupt company that used to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It allowed customers to exchange digital currencies for other digital currencies or traditional money; it also had a native cryptocurrency known as FTT. The Bahamas-based company has built its business on risky business options that are not legal in the United States.
Mr Bankman-Fried’s extradition to the United States is expected to take place on Wednesday. He has already been suspended once this week after a chaotic hearing in the Bahamas, where a local lawyer representing him questioned his client’s acceptance of extradition. The lawyer, Jerone Roberts, later recanted, paving the way for the transfer of Mr. Bankman-Fried to New York.
Mr Bankman-Fried has been denied bail in the Bahamas after he was arrested last week at his luxury apartment complex on the island of New Providence. At a December 13 hearing, a Bahamian judge said Mr Bankman-Fried’s financial resources made him a flight risk.
Once in the United States, Mr. Bankman-Fried is to be arraigned in federal court for the District of Manhattan, where his case is being overseen by Judge Ronnie Abrams. Authorities have accused him of embezzling billions of FTX deposits and, in doing so, defrauding clients, investors and lenders.
Mr. Bankman-Fried would not be the first defendant of extreme wealth to be prosecuted in the Southern District Courthouse, nor the first to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid being jailed while awaiting trial. Some have succeeded; others were not.
Bernard L. Madoff, the infamous Ponzi schemer, was given $10 million bail and remained under house arrest in his penthouse apartment until he pleaded guilty in 2009. He died in prison l last year at the age of 82 while serving a 150-year sentence. .
The consequences of the fall of FTX
The sudden collapse of the crypto exchange left the industry stunned.
In 2016, Reza Zarrab, a Turkish gold trader charged in an Iran sanctions case, offered to post $50 million bail, secured by $10 million in cash, and stay in an apartment in hire and wear a GPS monitoring device. He also offered to pay 24-hour guards to make sure he didn’t run away.
But the judge, Richard M. Berman, refused bail, saying the proposal was “unreasonable because it contributes to fostering unfairness and unequal treatment in favor of a very small cohort of defendants. extremely rich, like Mr. Zarrab”.
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