Things are not looking good for Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) ahead of the bright holidays, and it looks like his Christmas won’t be so merry.
Bankman-Fried, the mastermind behind the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was detained by Bahamian authorities on Tuesday. One day after he was locked up, the Bahamian government denied him temporary freedom.
Bankman-Fried’s attorney has requested his client’s release on $250,000 cash bail. However, according to various sources, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said involved a significant flight risk in releasing the controversial entrepreneur.
It comes after US lawmakers accused the SBF of misappropriating billions of dollars and violating campaign laws in what has been described as one of the biggest financial crimes in US history.
In a report on Wednesday, Reuters said the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange was dressed in a blue suit without a tie, with his head bowed and hugging his parents as the court handed down its decision.
The court determines the accused is eligible for bail and what his bail should be based on the scope and severity of the charges against him.
The bail amount serves as an incentive for the accused to appear at all court hearings. The bail bond company can provide financial assistance if defendants cannot post bail.
Bankman-Fried earned a fortune estimated at more than $20 billion as he took advantage of the cryptocurrency revolution to establish FTX on one of the world’s largest exchanges before it unexpectedly went bankrupt this year. Today’s events culminate in a remarkable fall from grace in recent weeks.
In the United States, FTX filed for bankruptcy last month, leaving many users unable to withdraw funds. Based on court documents, FTX owed more than $3 billion to its 50 largest creditors.
One of the most serious charges against Bankman-Fried is that he backed his investment trading firm, Alameda Research, with billions of dollars of clients’ money.
SBF now faces a potential sentence of 115 years in prison. Reuters reveals that the importance of the case is so great that it could worsen if new evidence against the accused emerges.
According to Mark S. Cohen, one of SBF’s attorneys:
Bankman-Fried and his lawyers have suggested opposing his extradition to the United States. His extradition hearing is scheduled for February 8, 2023.
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