FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) had his first appearance in court following his extradition from the Bahamas. According to several reports, SBF was granted bail and will be able to live with his parents, the two U.S. Ivy League compliance lawyers, in Palo Alto, California.
The former FTX CEO was presented in front of a Manhattan court. Here, a federal judge allowed his release where SBF met highly restrictive conditions, such as a $250 million bail and mandatory residency with his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, both law teachers at Stanford.
FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Walks From Prison?
Until last night, SBF was in one of the world’s worst prisons. The FTX founder agreed to his extradition to the United States, where he will face two counts of wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering.
This morning, the former CEO of FTX trading arm Alameda Research, Caroline Ellion, and the exchange’s former CFO, Gary Wang, pleaded guilty to multiple charges. The FTX executives confessed to his participation in a scheme to commit market manipulation and misuse their clients’ funds.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
(…) Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang played an active role in a scheme to misuse FTX customer assets to prop up Alameda and to post collateral for margin trading. When FTT and the rest of the house of cards collapsed, Mr. Bankman-Fried, Ms. Ellison, and Mr. Wang left investors holding the bag.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents secured the $250 million bail and committed to his court appearances. In addition, SBF had to surrender his passport, and the court will track his mobility with a bracelet.
If SBF fails to meet these requirements, the court will immediately order his arrest, and his parents will be held responsible. Per the New York Times, the U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York proposed the deal.
Lawyers Mark Cohen and Christian Everderll are representing SBF; they claim that their client will remain with his parents:
My client voluntarily consented to come to face these charges here in New York. He wants to address them.
SBF faces multiple decades in prison for his alleged involvement in illegal activities. As Bitcoinist reported, FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings revealed much dirt on the failed exchange’s operations. SBF’s parent and other high-ranking employees benefit from the company’s misuse of clients’ funds to acquire luxury real estate in the Bahamas.
In total, Sam Bankman-Fried and his parents allegedly bought over $120 million in real estate in 2020. In that sense, his release has triggered the anger of many crypto investors across social media platforms.
Judge Gorenstein says Bankman-Fried will be released on $250 million recognizance bond. pic.twitter.com/39S4MrIOfI
— Hsaka (@HsakaTrades) December 22, 2022
Ethereum is trading at $1,213 at the time of writing with sideways movement. Chart from Tradingview.