SBF Had to Be ‘Awakened’ by Official After Closing His Eyes in Court

  • SBF had to be “awakened” by a court official after closing his eyes during a hearing, per Reuters.
  • Bankman-Fried was in court in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, on Monday.
  • Bankman-Fried was also admonished for his appearance and demeanor during the hearing.

Sam Bankman-Fried had to be “awakened” by a court official after closing his eyes during his extradition hearing, Reuters reported.

The cofounder and former CEO of crypto exchange FTX was in court in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, on Monday, where he was expected to agree to extradition to the US over eight criminal charges, including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Last week he had indicated to the court that he wasn’t waiving his right to challenge his extradition to the US.

In the Monday hearing, Bankman-Fried reportedly said he was ready to agree to voluntary extradition, however, Jerone Roberts, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer in the Bahamas, said he wasn’t aware of the plan, per Bloomberg.

Roberts said he was “shocked” to see his client in court at all and requested a break to confer with Bankman-Fried privately, The New York Times reported.

Bankman-Fried was remanded back to Fox Hill prison after the judge said that he couldn’t take action on Bankman-Fried’s extradition without his consent. Staff from the FBI and the US Department of State were present at the hearing, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Roberts later told outlets including The New York Times that the former CEO had ultimately agreed to extradition. He said that Bankman-Fried had defined “the strongest possible legal advice” and agreed to extradition voluntarily, per The Times.

The Journal reported that at the hearing, a court official told Bankman-Fried to stand up straight. He was also reported to be sat slumped in his seat with his head down while shaking his leg, a known characteristic of the tech mogul.

When asked to stand in court, Bloomberg reported that Bankman-Fried had removed his blue suit jacket, untucked his shirt, and had his sleeves rolled up. He was also ordered by a bailiff to keep his hands out of his pockets, per Bloomberg.

Bankman-Fried, the son of two Stanford Law professors, is well known for his mop of curls, casual attire, and behavioral quirks, with The Wall Street Journal’s Jacob Gallagher saying that he “embodied Silicon Valley’s disheveled-exec trope better than anyone. ” He’s been regularly photographed in cargo shorts and baggy T-shirts, sometimes featuring FTX’s logo, and was recently caught playing a video game during an interview.

“He branded himself as a slob, and it makes him more authentic and people like it more,” Michael Pachter told The Journal.

US federal prosecutors have accused Bankman-Fried of misappropriating customer funds, including using them to make political contributions, buy real estate, and repay loans owed by Alameda Research. They also accused Bankman-Fried of defrauding lenders. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 115 years in prison.

Prior to his arrest, Bankman-Fried denied knowingly committing fraud in multiple interviews about the collapse of FTX.

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