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Sam Bankman-Fried reaches US after consenting to extradition, top FTX aides plead guilty

New YorkEdited By: Mukul SharmaUpdated: Dec 22, 2022, 08:41 PM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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Sam Bankman-Fried's US extradition: As the FTX founder reached New York late Wednesday, two of his top lieutenants Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the alleged fraud that heralded the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

A plane that was reportedly carrying Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX founder and a former cryptocurrency mogul, arrived in Westchester County, New York on Wednesday. Bankman-Fried decided to agree to extradition in part out of a "desire to make the relevant customers whole," as per a court filing dated December 20.

Bankman-Fried departed the Bahamas late Wednesday, according to local television Eyewitness News. He is due to appear in a Manhattan court as soon as Thursday morning, Financial Times reported.

WATCH | US: FTX founder to agree to extradition, Sam Bankman-Fried appears before Bahamas court

Bankman-Fried, a Bahamas permanent resident, spent the past nine days in Nassau's Fox Hill prison, weighing his choices before telling a magistrate court on Wednesday that he would not fight extradition. A court in Manhattan has charged him of engaging in a scheme to defraud FTX customers by using billions of dollars in deposits to pay for expenses and debts and to make investments for his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research LLC.

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

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Minister Frederick Mitchell had signed a warrant for Bankman-Fried's surrender to US authorities under a bilateral extradition treaty.

FTX fallout: Bankman-Fried's top lieutenants plead guilty

The US prosecutors charged two of Sam Bankman-Fried's closest FTX colleagues on Wednesday, in connection with their roles in the alleged fraud that heralded the collapse of FTX.

Caroline Ellison, the former chief executive of FTX's trading affiliate Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, another FTX co-founder, pleaded guilty, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York announced late on Wednesday. 

FTX has filed for bankruptcy, following which many of its investors told the media that they are unable to withdraw funds. According to a Manhattan court filing, FTX owed its 50 largest creditors almost $3.1 billion in credit. 

Bankman-Fried was once cited as a young version of the marvellous US investor Warren Buffett. Bankman-Fried had an estimated net worth of over $15 billion as recently as late October. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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