DOJ asks Bahamian government if newer charges against Bankman-Fried violate extradition deal

Quick Take

  • The Justice Department asked the Bahamas for a specialty waiver after former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried suggested new criminal charges against him violate an extradition agreement.
  • The DOJ said it will not proceed with some criminal charges against Bankman-Fried if the Bahamian government objects to them.
  • A judge will hear arguments on the matter next month.

After former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried challenged criminal charges filed against him after he was extradited from the Bahamas, the U.S. Justice Department is seeking a specialty waiver from the Bahamas to allow parts of the case to proceed. 

Prosecutors have filed several superseding indictments containing new criminal against Bankman-Fried since was extradited from the Bahamas in December.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, including bank fraud, and awaits an October trial. 

The FTX founder recently objected to some of the criminal charges filed against him, arguing that the government “improperly” added “several new, unrelated charges without first obtaining the express consent of the Bahamian government.”

The U.S. government disagreed in a court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

“There is no basis for dismissal of any counts at this stage of the proceedings because the United States’ treaty with the Bahamas does not place limits on charging a defendant with new offenses post-extradition,” the Justice Department said.

Although prosecutors argue that Bankman-Fried cannot object to the charges based on his extradition, they noted that the Bahamian government can stop parts of the case from moving forward. The government said it has notified the Bahamas of the additional charges and is seeking a specialty waiver from the country.

"The country’s response will be dispositive,” the Justice Department said. “The government will proceed on the new charges in the S5 indictment if the Bahamas consents to trial on these charges, and will not proceed on those counts if the Bahamas denies the government’s request.” 

The DOJ was responding to Bankman-Fried’s attempt to toss out four charges: Conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and defraud the Securities and Exchange Commission and conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

The former FTX boss, who did not comment, has moved to dismiss 10 of the 13 criminal charges against him. A judge is scheduled to hear arguments on the issue on June 15.

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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