Extradition Standoff May Lead to Dropped Charge for FTX Founder
Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of FTX, who was facing a charge accusing him of unlawful campaign contributions, is likely to see that charge dismissed. Prosecutors in the United States have relayed their intent to drop this allegation. The decision comes after The Bahamas declined to extradite Bankman-Fried, due to the timing of this charge's inclusion in an initial extradition request.
No Support For Extradition of Unlawful Contribution Charge From The Bahamas
In a recent correspondence directed to District Court judge Lewis Kaplan, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams communicated that The Bahamas had no inclination to approve the extradition of Bankman-Fried on the basis of the campaign contribution charge. Following this, Williams conveyed that prosecutors do not intend to advance this charge to trial.
"The Bahamas expressed no desire to extradite the defendant concerning the campaign contribution accusation," wrote Williams. "In accordance with its treaty responsibilities to the Bahamas, the Government does not plan to initiate trial on the campaign contributions count."
Remaining Charges Against Bankman-Fried
Bankman-Fried, who had previously disputed this accusation on the grounds that it was added post his extradition agreement from The Bahamas, has 13 charges to his name, expected to persist. The charge planned to be dismissed was among the eight unsealed last December. Five more were added in February and March 2023 through supplementary indictments.
Splitting up of Charges into Separate Trials
The Government has partitioned the charges to separate trials scheduled for late 2023 and early 2024 due to a request from Bahamian entities for clarification on the five additional charges. Once this particular accusation has been dropped, Bankman-Fried will face twelve charges, including various allegations of fraud conspiracy, money laundering, and bribery of Chinese officials. Bankman-Fried maintains his innocence in these matters.
Request to Revoke Bail
In a July 26 hearing, prosecutors asked for Bankman-Fried's bail to be cancelled. They accused him of intimidating and trying to discredit Caroline Ellison, the previous CEO of Alameda Research, by disclosing her personal diaries to the New York Times.