(Kitco News) – Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, will enter U.S. soil and U.S. custody today, while FTX’s new management told creditors they have identified at least $1.22 billion in cash belonging to the bankrupt crypto exchange.
Bankman-Fried initially refused voluntary extradition to the United States following his arrest last week, but appeared to have changed his mind at a court hearing yesterday morning. Now, NBC News has reported that SBF has signed the necessary paperwork agreeing to voluntary extradition to the U.S. and Doan Cleare, the acting commissioner of corrections for the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, has since confirmed that he is scheduled to fly to his home country on Wednesday.
Once he is in U.S. custody, Bankman-Fried can request to be released on bail, which he was denied after he was arrested in the Bahamas on Dec. 12. If his bail request is denied again, he would be held at a federal detention center in Brooklyn, New York which houses defendants awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, the new management at SBF’s old company told creditors at a procedural bankruptcy hearing on Tuesday that they have now located and identified over $1.2 billion in cash assets. The new management team led by bankruptcy specialist John Ray has been working to retrieve hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from hundreds of different bank accounts.
“We are reaching out to all of those banks and changing the signatories on the accounts so that we can get access to the accounts and move the cash as much as we can to authorized depository institutions,” said Mary Cilia, FTX’s new chief financial officer, at the proceedings.
Cilia said the company has identified about $720 million in cash in U.S. financial institutions which the exchange has yet to consolidate, with $485 million more already held by FTX in U.S. institutions.
Approximately $130 million of the cash not yet in their possession is locked up in Japan, where local regulations require funds to be held to cover the exchange’s obligations to local customers. Another $6 million is being held to cover operational expenses such as payroll, and most of the remaining $423 million still with unauthorized U.S. institutions is held by a single broker, who Cilia declined to identify.
Steve Coverick, a senior director at FTX’s financial advisors Alvarez & Marsal, also told creditors that they are engaged in “ongoing efforts” to identify the company’s international crypto assets and shift them to cold wallets.
FTX has yet to file a formal statement of assets and a statement of its financial position as required under U.S. bankruptcy law due to the weak governance and poor record keeping under Bankman-Fried’s tenure. Cilia said they expect to be able to make the mandatory filings by April 2023.
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