Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of FTX, was denied bail on Tuesday after a Bahamian judge deemed him a flight risk, according to Reuters. An extradition hearing is scheduled for February 8th.
Bankman-Fried, nicknamed “SBF,” was arrested in the Bahamas Monday evening after US prosecutors informed the Bahamas of sweeping criminal charges expected to be filed against the disgraced crypto darling. In an unsealed indictment Tuesday, prosecutors at the Justice Department’s Southern District of New York charged Bankman-Fried with eight counts of fraud, including lying to investors and violating US campaign finance law.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried appeared before a Bahamas court in his first public appearance since FTX’s November collapse. SBF’s lawyers sought his release on $250,000 in bail.
The court’s decision to deny bail follows a marathon hearing in the House Financial Services Committee where lawmakers questioned current FTX CEO John J. Ray III over the exchange’s collapse. Before his arrest on Monday, SBF was slated to testify before lawmakers as well. In remarks obtained by The Wall Street Journal, SBF was prepared to apologize for the implosion, but also placed partial blame onto Ray and rival cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
“I would like to start by formally stating, under oath: I fucked up,” the remarks said.
Throughout Tuesday’s hearing, lawmakers broadly agreed FTX’s collapse warranted greater regulation of the crypto regulation. But with little time left before the end of the year, McHenry said the committee would pick up negotiations in January.
“The arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried is welcome news, but it still does not get to the bottom of what happened at FTX, and why it happened, and who else may be responsible,” incoming Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-TX) said in his opening statement.