FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is ready to be launched on $250 million bail and reside together with his dad and mom
FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried is escorted out of Magistrate’s Court on December 21, 2022 in Nassau, Bahamas.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is released for $250 million Bail while they await trial on fraud and other criminal charges, A New York federal judge ruled on Thursday.
The terms of his personal statement of acknowledgment were agreed upon by prosecutors and attorneys for Bankman-Fried. The 30-year-old will face his next hearing in New York City on January 3. Bankman-Fried was scheduled to be released from federal custody Thursday, a prosecutor said.
A statement of acknowledgment is a written commitment by the accused to appear in court if ordered to do so. In exchange, Bankman-Fried’s warehouse would not be required to meet all of the bail security requirements.
The bond was secured by the equity of his family home and by the signatures of his parents and two other people of “substantial” wealth.
In addition to the $250 million package, which prosecutors described as “the largest pre-trial bond issue ever,” the former crypto billionaire would also have to wear an electronic surveillance bracelet, undergo psychological counseling, and be confined to the Northern County of California .
Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said Bankman-Fried would need “close” surveillance after his release to his parents’ home in California.
His parents, both law professors at Stanford, were present in the courtroom. Bankman-Fried was flanked by two US Marshals in suits and ties.
He did not speak except when answering the judge.
The former FTX CEO would also be barred from opening new lines of credit above $1,000 while awaiting trial for what federal authorities have described as a “brazen” scam at his bankrupt crypto empire.
Bankman-Fried was at the heart of a “fraud of epic proportions,” Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos said in court. But he returned to the United States voluntarily, has no history of escape and has greatly reduced his fortune.
Bankman-Fried had previously claimed he was down to just $100,000, a steep drop for a man who once headed a $32 billion crypto empire.
Bankman-Fried is accused of committing a multibillion-dollar scam to its investors by using client funds to buy real estate, fund political donations and make backstop trades at his hedge fund Alameda Research.
Federal regulators claim over $8 billion in customer funds are missing. FTX filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware on November 11. Bankman-Fried’s successor, CEO John Ray, said he had never seen such a “complete failure of corporate governance.”
Two of his top lieutenants, Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, pleaded guilty to related fraud charges and are cooperating with law enforcement. Wang and Ellison’s pleadings were revealed Wednesday.
Bankman-Fried was indicted by the US District Court in Manhattan on eight counts, including securities fraud and money laundering, and was extradited from the Bahamas to New York on Wednesday night.
Bankman-Fried’s bail dwarfs other federal government bonds. Bernie Madoff posted a $10 million bond while awaiting trial over his multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling provided a $5 million bond loan, while Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes pledged nearly $500,000.