Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly dozed off in a Bahamas courtroom during the Monday hearing in which he agreed to be extradited to the US against his lawyers’ urging.
At one point during the court appearance, Bankman-Fried, who is accused of bilking FTX customers out of $8 billion, “leaned back with his eyes closed and appeared to be awakened by a court official,” Reuters reported.
Bankman-Fried wore “a dark blue jacket and untucked white shirt” at the court hearing, according to the report. The beleaguered former billionaire was well-known for showing up for public events with a disheveled T-shirt-and-shorts look at his many public appearances in the months before FTX’s implosion.
The former FTX boss kept a low profile in the courtroom. The only times he spoke were to greet Bahamas Judge Shaka Serville and to “confirm he would speak to his US counsel,” the report said.
Bankman-Fried shocked his own defense attorney in the Bahamas, Jerone Roberts, by agreeing to extradition to the US. Roberts reportedly said Bankman-Fried had made the voluntary decision against “the strongest possible legal advice.”
The moved marked a reversal for Bankman-Fried, who previously indicated he would fight extradition.
Roberts said that Bankman-Fried “wishes to put the customers right, and that is what has driven his decision,” according to the New York Times.
The 30-year-old crypto kid faces eight federal charges in connection to FTX’s downfall, including wire fraud and securities fraud. He faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
It’s unclear when Bankman-Fried will be shipped back to the US, according to Reuters.
Since his arrest on Dec. 12, Bankman-Fried has been held at the Bahamas’ Fox Hill Prison — a rat- and maggot-filled facility that a warden once said was “not fit for humanity.” Bankman-Fried’s relatives reportedly scrambled to request that vegan meals be provided to him while in the prison.
Bankman-Fried’s camp drew close scrutiny at previous court appearances. Last week, his parents — Stanford law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried — caused a stir with their own antics.
Fried “audibly laughed several times” when her son was referred to as a “fugitive,” CoinDesk reported. Bankman was seen plugging his ears “as if to drown out the sound of the proceedings.”