Sam Bankman-Fried is denied bail over FTX’s collapse after judge rules his ‘risk of flight is so great’

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Sam Bankman-Fried was denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas on Tuesday and ordered to prison in the island country.

During Bankman-Fried’s first court appearance since his arrest on Monday, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said that the FTX co-founder posed too big of a flight risk to be released. An attorney for the FTX co-founder had proposed that his client pay $250,000 cash bail and wear an ankle bracelet to be allowed to leave his cell. 

“Risk of flight is so great that Samuel Bankman-Fried ought to be remanded in custody,” Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said. “I am not satisfied that there is any condition that I could place in Samuel Bankman-Fried to sufficiently satisfy, because of his access to substantial finances, that he would not and could not abscond.”

An extradition hearing for Bankman-Fried was set for Feb. 8. Earlier in the arraignment proceedings on Tuesday, his lawyer said that he would fight plans to send him to the US to face charges. 

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts, including conspiracy and wire fraud, for allegedly misusing billions of dollars in customers’ funds before last month’s spectacular collapse of his cryptocurrency empire.

Dressed in a blue suit and white shirt for the arraignment proceedings, Bankman-Fried at times appeared shaky and fidgety. His parents were present in the courtroom as their 30-year-old son was frequently referred to as a “fugitive.”

After the judge announced that his bail would be denied his mom, visibly upset, hugged him with teary eyes. Bankman-Fried was allowed 15 minutes with his parents before he was to be taken to prison. 

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