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Sam Bankman-Fried Released on $250 Million Bond

Written by orobulletin

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was released Thursday on $250 million bail and ordered to be held at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. It was after the former executive appeared in New York federal court for the first time since his extradition from the Bahamas.

Bankman-Fried left the courthouse in a black SUV. At a later date, he plans to file a petition on charges of involvement in fraud and other crimes, according to a federal magistrate.

Magistrate Gabriel Gollenstein has set a bail package. Bankman-Fried will be placed under electronic surveillance and his travel will be restricted to parts of Northern California and New York.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Roos called Bankman-Fried’s alleged crime a “fraud on a grand scale” and said he believed the $250 million bond was the largest in history. The judge said the bond would be signed by four financial officers, including one who is not a family member.

Evidence against Bankman-Fried includes testimony from multiple collaborators and more than a dozen witnesses from FTX and his cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research, encrypted text messages, and tens of thousands of pages of financial documents. says Roos. He said.

Roos said the government agreed to a bail package. Because Bankman-Fried had agreed to the extradition. Bankman-Fried’s financial assets have dwindled significantly since they were worth billions of dollars, he said.

Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, said his client agreed to an extradition that could take years to address the charges. He said Bankman-Fried will live with his parents. They live in a house worth approximately $4 million near the Stanford University campus.

Judge Gorenstein said he agreed to the bail package because he believed Bankman-Fried would not be in danger of escape and would not pose a danger to the community.

Sam Bankman-Fried, who was removed from a New York courthouse on Thursday, was charged with engaging in criminal conduct that contributed to the demise of FTX.


Photo:

Justin Lane/Shutterstock

“It would be very difficult for this defendant to go into hiding without being recognized,” the judge said. Mr Bankman-Fried has acquired such notoriety that it is impossible for him to conduct financial transactions, the judge added.

When the judge asked if Bankman-Fried understood that he could be charged with bail waiver if he didn’t appear, he looked at his lawyer and said, “Yes, I know.” Told.

Bankman-Fried admits to making mistakes while running the company, but denies any fraudulent activity.

A string of plays began when Bankman-Fried told a Bahamian judge Wednesday morning that he hoped to be charged and immediately transferred to the United States to “complete the customers involved.” Legal progress is rounded out by his appearance.

After U.S. officials put him on a plane to New York Wednesday night, they announced that two of his closest friends had pleaded guilty to several crimes and are cooperating with prosecutors.

According to the plea deal, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison pleaded guilty to seven counts, while former FTX Chief Technology Officer Gary Wang pleaded guilty to four counts. Their cooperation with investigators could strengthen the prosecutors’ case against Bankman-Fried, who is accused of defrauding customers, lenders and investors. Prosecutors also have accounts and documents from two credible insiders in future trials, potentially increasing the legal risk faced by other former FTX officials who played a role in the questionable scheme. There is a possibility

Ellison and Wang pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to defraud FTX customers from 2019 to November 2022, embezzling customer deposits and lending them to Alameda, according to documents released Thursday. Ellison also admitted to participating in a scheme to commit fraud by providing false information about the financial status of Alameda moneylenders. She and Wang also pleaded guilty to misleading FTX investors.

Manhattan federal prosecutor Damian Williams said in a video statement Wednesday that an investigation into FTX is ongoing. He urged anyone involved in cheating at FTX or Alameda to come forward immediately.

A lawyer for Ellison declined to comment after the guilty plea was announced. Mr. Wang’s lawyer said his client took his duties as a co-witness seriously.

Both Ellison, 28, and Wang, 29, were associated with Bankman-Fried before the founding of FTX. Ellison and Bankman-Fried worked together at quantitative trading firm Jane Street and were once romantically involved. Wang and his Bankman-Fried were in the same coeducational group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed lawsuits against Mr. Ellison and Mr. Wang late Wednesday over their role in the scheme to deceive FTX investors. The two companies agreed to settle and take responsibility for his SEC and his CFTC claims, according to regulators.

Bankman-Fried is also charged with conspiring with others to make illegal campaign contributions. Bankman-Fried disguised the political contributions as coming from wealthy officials, but in reality Alameda was financing them from stolen client money, Williams said.

Bankman-Fried personally donated $40 million to political campaigns and committees, mostly to Democratic and liberal-leaning groups.

FTX’s new management said it would try to get back donations to campaigns made by Bankman-Fried and other FTX executives to repay creditors.

Fix and Amplify
An earlier version of this article’s video caption incorrectly identified images of Sam Bankman-Fried’s extradition from Bahamas Wednesday. Images show him after a hearing in New York on Thursday.

Please contact Corinne Ramey (corinne.ramey@wsj.com) and James Fanelli (james.fanelli@wsj.com).

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