FTX founder Bankman-Fried to be released on $250 million bail The founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX appeared in court after being extradited from the Bahamas. He's charged with alleged fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and illegal campaign contributions.

Sam Bankman-Fried to be released on $250 million bail into parents' custody

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A MART├ŹNEZ, HOST:

The founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been extradited to the United States. Sam Bankman-Fried faces a long list of criminal charges related to the spectacular collapse of his company. U.S. prosecutors have secured the cooperation of two once-powerful people in the FTX crypto empire. Here's NPR's David Gura.

DAVID GURA, BYLINE: Sam Bankman-Fried will appear before a judge in the Southern District of New York as soon as possible, according to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. And in a statement posted on Facebook and Twitter, Williams doubled down on something he said last week after federal prosecutors indicted Bankman-Fried on eight criminal counts.

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DAMIAN WILLIAMS: This investigation is very much ongoing. And it's moving very quickly.

GURA: On Wednesday, Williams announced new charges. He said his office had charged Caroline Ellison, who ran Bankman-Fried's crypto hedge fund, with fraud. That firm, called Alameda Research, is at the center of the scandal that led to FTX's implosion. Prosecutors say it took hundreds of millions of dollars from FTX's customers' accounts to make speculative bets and to pay down debts. And customers lost about $8 billion. Federal prosecutors also charged Gary Wang with fraud. He and Bankman-Fried founded FTX together. And last night, the U.S. attorney announced more crucial developments.

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WILLIAMS: Both Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang have pled guilty to those charges. And they are both cooperating with the Southern District of New York.

GURA: In a separate civil complaint, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ellison and Wang with violating securities laws. The SEC says they were, quote, "active participants in a scheme to deceive FTX's investors." Ellison and Wang are also cooperating with the SEC's investigation. Earlier this month, a judge in the Bahamas. Where FTX is headquartered, denied Bankman-Fried's request for bail. And in his first court appearance, he vowed to fight extradition to the U.S. But a few days ago, he changed his mind. And after a chaotic court appearance on Monday, during which one of Bankman-Fried's lawyers said he was shocked by his client's about-face, Bankman-Fried conferred with his other attorneys. And on Wednesday, he formally waived his right to fight extradition. Not long after that, Bankman-Fried was in FBI custody.

David Gura, NPR News, New York.

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