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FTX: Court denies SBF Bail



The founder and former CEO of the now insolvent Crypto exchange, Sam Banknan Fried, has been denied bail by the presiding Judge of the Bahaman Magistrate Court where SBF is being tried. The denial was on the grounds that Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail request was because he posed a “flight risk.”

The Bahaman Magistrate Court, presided on by Judge Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, has ordered the remand of SBF in the country’s correctional facility till the 8th of February 2023, when the extradition hearing will be continued.

This injunction was made after SBF’s lawyer had pleaded with the court to consider releasing him on a $250,000 bail. He further argued that bail is necessary for SBF to be able to monitor his health, keep to his vegan diet and take his routine medication. One of his medications is Zyrtec, an over-the-counter allergy medication, Emsam patches which SBF claims to use for his depression and Adderall.

The prosecuting counsel argued that granting Bankman-Fried bail would violate the existing extradition agreement with the US, which requires all defendants to be held in custody pending the extradition trial. SBF also revealed to the court that he would not defer his right to fight the extradition attempt, hinting that he will attempt to remain in the Bahamas.

SBF is not a flight risk

Debunking the flight risk claim, Jerome Roberts, SBF’s lawyer, argued that his client posed no flight risk pointing out that he owned properties in the Bahamas, had had his passport with him for about three weeks before his detention on Monday, and could have bolted if he wanted to.

Roberts also argued that instead of denying his client bail, the court could order the use of electronic monitoring devices that would track the movement of this client and will curtail his movement.

Roberts was rebuffed by Judge Ferguson-Pratt, who asserted that someone who was determined could find a way to leave the nation.

SBF’s arrest

SBF got arrested on Monday evening after the Royal Bahamas Police Force was informed of a secret indictment by American prosecutors. Earlier on Tuesday, the Southern District of New York U.S. The Attorney’s Office unveiled the indictment, revealing that authorities accused the former FTX CEO of wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and campaign finance violations, among other things.

The US Attorney, Damian Williams, during a press conference, stated that upon the collapse of FTX, which resulted in the loss of customer assets, the Department of Justice had teamed up with the FBI and the Security Exchange Commission to assess the situation and “to begin the process of seeking justice.” He further revealed that the team has “…unsealed an eight-count indictment charging Samuel Bankman-Fried, FTX’s founder, with a series of interrelated fraud schemes that contributed to FTX’s collapse.”

In addition to the indictment of SBF by a grand jury in the US last Friday, which led to his arrest, the SEC and CFTC filed a lawsuit against Bankman-Fried for alleged securities and commodities fraud.

Investigations into Bankman-Fried and FTX are being conducted on both a civil and criminal level by Bahamas government officials.

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