After spending just five days in a Bahamian jail cell, FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is backpedaling on his decision to contest extradition to the United States to face fraud charges, Reuters reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.
According to the report, SBF will appear in court on Monday to formally consent to extradition - which will pave the way for him to appear in US court to face charges that he commingled customer deposits to cover expenses and debts, and to make investments through his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research LLC.
That said, legal experts tell Reuters that a trial is likely over a year away.
As Fox News reported last week, the Bahamas prison where SBF was reportedly heading - Fox Hill - is "harsh" due to "overcrowding, poor nutrition [and] inadequate sanitation," along with cells that are "infested with rats, maggots, and insects."
"He will be in sick bay for orientation purposes and then we will determine where best to place him," said Bahamian Commissioner of Correctional Services Doan Cleare in a statement to Reuters.
A 2021 U.S. State Department report said prisoners at Fox Hill described "infrequent access to nutritious meals and long delays between daily meals."
"Maximum-security cells for men measured approximately six feet by 10 feet and held up to six persons with no mattresses or toilet facilities. Inmates removed human waste by bucket. Prisoners complained of the lack of beds and bedding," according to the report. "Some inmates developed bedsores from lying on bare ground. Sanitation was a general problem, and cells were infested with rats, maggots, and insects."
"Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to medical care were problems in the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services men’s maximum-security block," the report continued. "The facility was designed to accommodate 1,000 prisoners but was chronically overcrowded."
On Thursday, Bankman-Fried sought bail from the Bahamas Supreme Court following his Dec. 12 arrest. On Tuesday he was remanded to Fox Hill Prison after Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson rejected his request to remain at home while awaiting a hearing on his extradition to the US.