US reportedly considering Bankman-Fried extradition for questioning
In the aftermath of the FTX exchange liquidity crisis and bankruptcy, the United States and Bahamian authorities are reportedly discussing the possibility of extraditing Sam Bankamn-Fried, former CEO of the company, back to the U.S. for questioning.
According to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter, conversations between local law-enforcement officials, including the FBI, escalated in recent days as they investigated Bankman-Fried’s role in the downfall of the exchange
Since the incident, the former FTX CEO, co-founder Gary Wang and the director of engineering Nishad Singh are known to be in The Bahamas, where they are “under supervision” by the local authorities.
Initially, rumors surfaced of Bankman-Fried potentially looking to flee to Dubai. However, due to an agreement between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, U.S.-based fugitives attempting to relocate to Dubai have a high chance of being detained and returned.
Currently, it is known that Bahamian securities regulators and financial investigators have opened an investigation into the situation surrounding the fall of FTX for criminal misconduct. Financial authorities in Turkey have also launched an investigation into the exchange.
FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 and on the same day, Bankman-Fried stepped down from his position as CEO of the company, which was filled by restructuring executive John Jay Ray III. The latest filings from the bankruptcy case revealed that FTX could be accountable to over one million creditors.
Some speculate the former CEO will face little repercussions for his actions. However, as of Nov. 14, nearly 4,000 people signed a petition demanding that Congress formally look into U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission head Gary Gensler’s “actions in the FTX fraud.”
In the first days of the crisis, Minnesota Republican lawmaker Tom Emmer said he had reason to believe Gensler had ties with FTX for regulation purposes. Emmer said he was looking into the matter.
Since the exchange went up in flames, lawmakers in the U.S., including the White House, have called for more stringent crypto regulation.