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    Judge kept FTX execs’ plea deals secret to get founder to US

    NEW YORK (AP) – A judge kept secret that two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s closest associates had turned against him so the cryptocurrency entrepreneur wouldn’t get spooked and fight extradition from the Bahamas, according to court transcripts made public on Friday.

    United States (US) prosecutors in New York waited until Bankman-Fried, the founder of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, was in FBI custody before revealing that his business partners, Carolyn Ellison and Gary Wang, had secretly pleaded guilty to fraud charges and were cooperating, which can earn them leniency at sentencing.

    US Attorney Damian Williams announced the guilty pleas when Bankman-Fried was in the air late Wednesday.

    Prosecutors had been concerned that if Bankman-Fried found out his friends were cooperating, he might try to fight extradition from the Bahamas, where he had been arrested at the request of US authorities.

    FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried leaves Manhattan Federal Court after his arraignment and bail hearings. PHOTO: AFP
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