The founder and former boss of the now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, who was arrested on suspicion of fraud, will not be released until the trial date because of the risk of absconding. A judge in the Bahamas on Tuesday refused to post bail for Bankman-Fried and instead sent him to a local correctional facility. Bankman-Fried, who was arrested in the Bahamas the day before, bowed his head and hugged his parents after the judge denied bail on the grounds that there was a “high” risk of absconding. He will be taken to a prison in the island state by February 8, where he will initially be housed in the medical department. He faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all eight counts.
Prosecutors and authorities in the US had previously filed lawsuits against Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried had apologized to customers, but had previously rejected allegations of fraud. The collapse of FTX has rocked the crypto world.
“One of the biggest financial scams in American history”
At a news conference Tuesday on the charges against Bahamas-based FTX founder Bankman-Fried, Manhattan Attorney Damian Williams called the case “one of the largest financial frauds in American history” and said he would investigate the alleged fraud are “not yet completed”.
However, Williams did not elaborate on how US authorities intend to repatriate Bankman-Fried from his tropical location to face the eight-count indictment brought against him in a New York federal court. A defense attorney for Bankman-Fried said he wanted to fight his extradition to the United States.