(Bloomberg) -- Sam Bankman-Fried was denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas on Tuesday, leaving the disgraced co-founder of crypto giant FTX behind bars.
During his first court appearance since being arrested on Monday, Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt said that Bankman-Fried posed too big of a flight risk to be released. His attorney had proposed that his client pay $250,000 cash and wear an ankle bracelet to be allowed to leave his cell.
“Risk of flight is so great that Samuel Bankman-Fried ought to be remanded in custody,” she said. “I am not satisfied that there is any condition that I could place in Samuel Bankman-Fried to sufficiently satisfy, because of his access to substantial finances, that he would not and could not abscond.”
An extradition hearing for Bankman-Fried was set for Feb. 8. Earlier in the arraignment proceedings on Tuesday, his lawyer said that he would fight plans to send him to the US.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts, including conspiracy and wire fraud, for allegedly misusing billions of dollars in customers’ funds before last month’s spectacular collapse of his cryptocurrency empire.
Dressed in a blue suit and white shirt for the arraignment proceedings, Bankman-Fried at times appeared shaky and fidgety. His parents were present in the courtroom as their 30-year-old son was frequently referred to as a “fugitive.”
Bankman-Fried’s need to take medication for ADHD and allergies frequently came up during the proceedings, which spanned most of Tuesday. At one point, the hearing was halted so he could take them because he missed doses following his arrest the night before.
After the judge announced that his bail would be denied, his mom hugged him with teary eyes. Bankman-Fried was allowed 15 minutes with his parents before he was to be taken away by authorities.
A court clerk said after the hearing that Bankman-Fried wouldn’t be allowed regular visits due Covid protocols.“That’s so sad,” Bankman-Fried’s father was overheard telling an onlooker about soon not being able to spend time with his son.
The judge said that Bankman-Fried would be taken to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services facility, which is known commonly known as Fox Hill and is the government’s only prison.
Although it’s unclear whether Bankman-Fried will be held among the general population, a 2020 report from the US State Department painted a grim picture of the place. The facility’s conditions were harsh due to overcrowding and poor ventilation, among other issues.
(Updates with new details from hearing starting in seventh paragraph.)
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.