Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of crypto exchange FTX, appeared in a US court in New York on Thursday, facing eight counts of fraud and conspiracy. A judge released him on $250 million bail on his first appearance on American soil since his arrest in the Bahamas last week.
The judge agreed to Bankman-Fried’s bail package proposed by federal prosecutors and attorneys. This also requires the former so-called crypto mogul to wear an electronic surveillance bracelet and be placed under house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. He has already handed over his passport.
A judge said Bankman-Fried will face charges in the future for stealing billions of dollars from customers of his crypto trading platform.
Bankman-Fried was escorted to court by a U.S. Marshal in a Navy suit jacket and white button-down shirt. As he walked to his seat at the defensive table, I heard a clattering sound coming from the shackles around his ankles.
His parents, law professors at Stanford University, sat in the third row behind him.
“Yes, I do,” Bankman-Fried said at the hearing when asked if he understood the consequences Justice of the Peace Gabriel Gorenstein would face if he skipped bail.
Other bail conditions include mental health treatment, a waiver of firearms, and a ban on new lines of credit, starting a business, or engaging in transactions over $1,000 without government approval.
The judge said Bankman-Fried had “sufficient notoriety” to deter anyone from engaging in commercial transactions.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried has carried out a fraud of epic proportions,” said prosecutor Nicholas Roos.
Roos said evidence against Bankman-Fried included multiple co-witnesses, testimony from other employees of the company, and encrypted messages.
On Wednesday, two senior executives associated with the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges and are cooperating with federal prosecutors, according to unsealed court records. Additionally, the pair faces civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday night.
FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former CEO of hedge fund Alameda Research Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to multiple charges of collusion and fraud. For their role in the fraud scheme that led to the collapse of crypto trading platforms.
Bankman-Fried was extradited to the US on Wednesday night, Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder confirmed. The Bahamian foreign minister has signed a surrender warrant authorizing his extradition to the United States, the Bahamian foreign ministry confirmed in a statement.
Prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried was involved in multiple fraud schemes. In it, they allege Bankman-Fried stole money from his FTX clients to support Alameda, invest in other companies, buy luxury real estate, and donate tens of millions of dollars to political campaigns. doing.
He could face life in prison if convicted on all eight counts of fraud and conspiracy.
FTX and its sister trading firm Alameda filed for bankruptcy last month after investors flooded the exchange to withdraw their deposits, sparking a liquidity crisis.
A few weeks after FTX’s bankruptcy, FTX’s new CEO, John Ray III, discovered that customer funds deposited on FTX sites were mingled with Alameda funds, and that he had made numerous speculative and risky bets. said publicly. Ray described this he-two company situation as “old-fashioned embezzlement” by a small group of “very inexperienced and unsophisticated individuals.”
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