The disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing eight criminal fraud charges from the Department of Justice, landed in New York on Wednesday night after extradition from The Bahamas as federal prosecutors announced that two of his former associates had pleaded guilty to charges and were now cooperating with the government.
Bankman-Fried left the island nation on a US-bound flight after The Office of the Attorney General of The Bahamas confirmed that the extradition process had moved forward since a Bahamian judge signed the order to hand over Bankman-Fried to the American authorities
On Monday, Bankman-Fried suddenly waived his earlier exercised right to contest extradition and said he would not fight an extradition order after all.
His lawyer requested during Wednesday’s hearing that the “rule of speciality” be followed – which says a person can be tried only on the charges for which they are extradited- after Bankman-Fried acknowledged risk-management failures at FTX but has said he does not have criminal liability.
Bankman-Fried was arrested at his Bahamas home a little more than a week ago at the request of the US government and charged with allegedly defrauding customers and investors, money laundering, and making illegal political campaign contributions.
Meanwhile, regulators revealed they’re also investigating him for fraud.
The Southern District of New York announced on Wednesday that two of Bankman-Fried’s closest allies – FTX co-founder Gary Wang and the ex-CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison- have flipped on him, pleading guilty to their own charges and securing their cooperation in the investigation.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, did not specify the charges that Wang and Ellison pled, noting only that the guilty pleas were related to their roles as insiders at FTX and Alameda Research.
According to WaPo, Ellison faces up to 110 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts, whereas Wang faces up to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts.