Things are not looking good for Sam Bankman-Fried ahead of Christmas. Well, what’s there to be excited about when spending the Yuletide season behind bars now becomes a reality?
Bankman-Fried, the brains behind the defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was detained in The Bahamas on Tuesday, Bitcoinist reported. One day after he was collared, the government of the Bahamas chose to refuse him the option of temporary freedom.
The counsel for Bankman-Fried asked his client’s release upon payment of $250,000 in cash. According to various news sources, however, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt stated that there is a significant flight risk associated with releasing SBF.
This, after U.S. lawmakers accused SBF of misappropriating billions of dollars and violating campaign laws in what has been termed as one of the largest financial crimes in American history.
Sam Bankman-Fried is escorted out of the Magistrate Court building after his arrest, in Nassau, Bahamas December 13, 2022. REUTERS/Dante Carrer
Sam Bankman-Fried: No Love From The Bahamas
In a report Wednesday, Reuters stated that the former CEO of the defunct crypto exchange was dressed in a blue suit without a tie, with his head bowed, and hugged his parents as the court rendered its decision.
Bail is a form of restricted release from confinement that an accused can obtain by paying a court-ordered fee called a bail bond.
The court will determine if the defendant is entitled for bail and how much their bond should be based on the extent and degree of the allegations against them.
The bail amount serves as an incentive for the accused to show up to all court proceedings. If defendants are not able to pay their bond, a bond firm can provide financial assistance.
Spectacular Fall From Grace
Bankman-Fried earned a fortune valued at over $20 billion as he exploited the cryptocurrency revolution to establish FTX into one of the world’s biggest exchanges before it unexpectedly folded this year. The day’s events culminated 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.
Among the most damning claims against Bankman-Fried is that he propped up his investment trading company, Alameda Research, with billions of dollars in customer monies.
Crypto total market cap at $827 billion on the daily chart | Chart: TradingView.com
What Lies Ahead For SBF: Possible 115 Years Behind Bars
Now, SBF is facing a potential prison term of 115 years. Reuters disclosed that the significance of the case is so enormous that it may get worse if new evidence against the defendant emerges.
According to Mark S. Cohen, one of SBF’s defense attorneys:
“Mr. Bankman-Fried is currently analyzing the charges with his legal team and evaluating all of his legal alternatives.”
Bankman-Fried and his attorneys have suggested they will oppose his extradition to the United States. His hearing for extradition is scheduled on February 8, 2023.