Imprisoned Sam Bankman-Fried May Relent in Extradition Fight: Reports
After four days facing “harsh” conditions in a Bahamanian prison, SBF may be open to returning to the USA.
Days after being widely reported as being “in good spirits” at Fox Hill prison, disgraced FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried is expected to reverse course on plans to fight extradition from The Bahamas.
The former executive’s legal team is expected in Bahamanian court on Monday to waive its earlier notice, which came as bail was denied and an extradition hearing was set for February 8. The news was first reported by Reuters, then independently confirmed by multiple media outlets.
Sam Bankman-Fried faces at least eight criminal charges in the U.S., including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Securities and Exchange Commission separately charged him with orchestrating a scheme to defraud equity investors in FTX.
Extradition of people located abroad can take many months or even years to complete, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. “Even if there are no immediate legal impediments to extradition, it may take many months or even many years for the extradition request to be heard by the courts,” it noted.
The Washington Post cited “a prison official who interacts with him on a regular basis” who said Bankman-Fried was “a little arrogant” but “a nice guy” who was “awfully scared.” The source said he may now be ready to “face the music.”
Known for his devotion to a vegan diet, Bankman-Fried outlined his food preferences and prescription medication needs in his unsuccessful $250,000 bail application. He reportedly asked prison officials to allow vegan meals to be delivered to him, although COVID restrictions still forbid visitors.
Bahamanian officials on Thursday said Bankman-Fried wasn’t receiving any special treatment at the facility, the government’s only prison, with a designed capacity of 1,000 that is frequently exceeded.
A human-rights evaluation by the U.S. State Department in 2021 said conditions at Fox Hill were “harsh” due to “overcrowding, poor nutrition, inadequate sanitation, and inadequate medical care.”
“Cells were infested with rats, maggots, and insects,” the report noted. “Prisoners reported infrequent access to nutritious meals and long delays between daily meals.”
Bankman-Fried has been at Fox Hill for four days, but had remained in the prison sick bay for evaluation. It is unclear when he will be assigned and transferred to his regular prison cell. The state department report noted that maximum-security cells for men measured approximately 6 feet by 10 feet and held up to six persons with no mattresses or toilet facilities.