Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the failed crypto exchange FTX, has been granted bail following his first appearance before a US judge.
Bankman-Fried, who was brought to the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation overnight after his extradition from the Bahamas was approved on Wednesday, appeared in court in New York for the first time to face felony charges in the United States. The case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York revolves around allegations of fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance violations.
The former CEO was told in his first court appearance since being extradited from the Bahamas that he can live with his parents on $250 million bail.
No cash was required to be deposited with the court, according to the release agreement filed on December 22, but the bond conditions stipulate that Bankman-five-bedroom Fried’s parent’s home in Palo Alto will be used as collateral for the $250 million bond.
When deciding on bail, Assistant US Attorney Nick Roos requested that the judge favourably consider the weight of the evidence. “If that was the only test, detention would likely be appropriate, but he voluntarily consented to extradition. That should be given weight.” Roos said.
Roos stated that if Bankman-Fried had fought extradition, “we would have opposed release,” but his assets have decreased, and he no longer works for FTX or Alameda, “so risk to the community is a marginal consideration.” Roos then proposed a $250 million “restrictive bail package” secured by his parent’s home, where he would live while awaiting trial.
The terms of SBF’s pre-trial release in his case seem unfair.” wrote Ripple CTO David Schwarts on Twitter. “It really feels like he should be in prison because we all know he’s guilty and should suffer for what he’s done. But the justice system really has no business punishing people who haven’t been convicted. He added.
The terms of release seem to be properly calculated to ensure he shows up for trial. I don’t think it’s all that likely he’ll flee and, if he does, his life will likely be pretty miserable anyway. All things considered, I think it’s what justice requires. Still feels wrong. 2/2— David “JoelKatz” Schwartz (@JoelKatz) December 23, 2022
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged the founder of FTX with stealing billions of dollars in customer funds in order to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried has already surrendered his passport and will be fitted with an electronic tracking device. His parents have until January 12 to secure the bail with their home equity arrangement.
Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, the other co-founder of FTX, pleaded guilty to federal charges and admitted guilt in securities violations, according to statements from US prosecutors and regulators late Wednesday.