Sam Bankman-Fried agrees to return to U.S. to face criminal charges
Yahoo Finance crypto reporter David Hollerith details Sam Bankman-Fried's decision to agree to be extradited from the Bahamas back to the U.S., along with the news that bitcoin mining company Core Scientific has filed for bankruptcy.
DAVE BRIGGS: All right. Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried may soon be trading the sunny shores of the Bahamas for the chilly streets of Manhattan. David Hollerith joins us now with what's ahead for SPF, David.
DAVID HOLLERITH: Yeah, so Dave, we can now I think confidently say that the incarcerated former CEO of FTX is headed back to the US. Earlier Wednesday in a Bahamian court, a judge approved the decision for Bankman-Fried to be extradited. And this followed Bankman-Fried's choice over the weekend to reverse an earlier motion his legal counsel had raised objecting, objecting, to extradition. There was some confusion amongst his legal counsel on Monday during a hearing.
But the latest development today solidifies that the former billionaire will stand trial for criminal charges in the US. Now the final step for getting him airborne out of the Bahamas is for the Bahamian minister of foreign affairs to sign off. Sources in the Bahamas tell us that the minister has filed his papers. Bankman-Fried is still being held in custody in the Bahamas. And for security reasons, the time of his departure today and arrival in the US by federal aircraft hasn't been disclosed.
A spokesperson for Bankman-Fried has declined to comment on the situation but can add that his case, while the docket has not become public, his case for charges, criminal charges in the US, has been assigned to a former Manhattan district judge.
DAVE BRIGGS: Meanwhile, David, another one bites the dust. One of the biggest publicly traded crypto mining companies in the US filing for chapter 11 protection. What do we know?
DAVID HOLLERITH: Yeah, so Core Scientific, the public miner, they cited the plummeting price of Bitcoin along with rising electricity costs and difficulty receiving payments from clients that use its facilities. Now Core Scientific did first raise concerns of bankruptcy back in October. It told investors it wouldn't be able to meet its debt obligations while also alleging through a separate legal complaint that a customer, Celsius Network, owed it several million dollars.
Now whether that's proven to be the case or not regarding Celsius, Core Scientific joins more than a handful of other crypto firms, including Celsius Network, that have filed for bankruptcy since July. The company, which spent-- which went public by SPAC last year, reached a peak market capitalization of $4.3 billion.
It now owes at least $894 million in debt obligations, probably more to its lenders, including MassMutual, B. Riley Financial, NYDIG, and another bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi. So to pay for legal fees through the bankruptcy process, Core Scientific does plan to continue mining Bitcoin. That's what we have at this point.
DAVE BRIGGS: Boy trust in the space continues to disintegrate. David Hollerith, thank you.