Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX founder, appears in court and is expected to waive extradition

Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in Bahamas court on Monday where there seemed to be confusion as to whether he will waive his extradition rights. The 30-year-old was expected to waive extradition, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, but during Monday’s hearing, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said he was “shocked” Bankman-Fried was in court. His attorney added, “I did not request him to be here this morning.” The 30-year-old appeared disheveled despite being dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and dress shoes. He often kept his head in his hands and his knees were shaking in the packed courtroom, full of members of the media and crypto community. If Bankman-Fried does waive his extradition rights, it’ll be a stunning reversal of course as his lawyers initially said they’d fight extradition after his Dec. 12 arrest in the Bahamas. Bankman-Fried, once the most prominent name in crypto, has since seen his empire fall into disgrace over the past few weeks. Last week, he was indicted in New York federal court on eight counts spanning wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and violating campaign finance laws. Prosecutors alleged he “orchestrated yearslong fraud” on investors and customers.The US Securities and Exchange Commission further charged him with defrauding investors and enriching his private crypto hedge fund Alameda.At a congressional hearing on FTX’s collapse and missteps last week, the company’s new CEO , John J. Ray III, lashed out at FTX’s leadership under Bankman-Fried.” the systems or controls that are necessary for a company entrusted with other people’s money or assets,” Ray told lawmakers. Marlene Lenthang is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. Debra Jones is a producer for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. Adam Reiss contributed.

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