FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried released on record $250m bond

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is set to be released on a $250 million bond and placed under house arrest at his parents’ California home following his first court appearance in Manhattan federal court.

US District Judge Gabriel Gorenstein signed off on the deal that saw the accused fraudster voluntarily leave the Bahamas to face a slew of charges, including wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and campaign finance violations. The combined charges carry a sentence of 115 years behind bars.

He appeared in court wearing a dark grey suit and sporting a 5 o’clock shadow and huddled with his lawyers Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen — who represented high-profile sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell earlier this year — before the proceedings got underway.

Federal prosecutors had a “location monitoring specialist” at their table, and agreed to release Bankman-Fried into the custody of his parents, Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.

Assistant US Attorney Nick Roos said he believed the bond, which was to be signed by the defendant, his parents, and a non-family member, was the “highest ever pre-trial bond” the feds had ever offered.

The deal was prearranged, sources told The Post and came after Bahamian authorities handed over Bankman-Fried, 30, to US officials Wednesday after the fallen mogul agreed to waive an extradition hearing and face the music in Manhattan. Officials in the Caribbean country had denied Bankman-Fried’s request for bail after the alleged crypto crook was busted at an island resort.

Under the deal, Bankman-Fried was required to turn himself into pre-trial services in the Northern District of California by 10am Friday, Roos said.

The suspect would be able to leave his parents’ Palo Alto house for exercise and mental health and substance abuse treatment and would be forbidden to make non-sanctioned transactions above $1000, with the exception of legal fees, according to prosecutors.

“For bail, you must consider the weight of the evidence. This was a fraud of epic proportions. If that was the only test, detention would likely be appropriate. But he voluntarily consented to extradition. That should be given weight,” argued Assistant US Attorney Nick Roos.

“If he had resisted, we would have opposed release. But his assets have diminished. This is a financial crime and he no longer works for FTX or Alameda. So the risk to the community is a marginal consideration. We propose a restrictive bail package.”

Bankman-Fried is accused of illegally using investors’ money to buy real estate, fund his trading firm Alameda Research and make political donations — a scheme which prosecutors likened to “a house of cards” built “on a foundation of deception”.

FTX’s value sank from $32 billion to $1 billion after investors made a run on the token when it was revealed that the company used investments in its trademark token FFT to fund Alameda.

Last month, the former multi-billionaire claimed he was down to his last $100,000, and his parents “told friends that their son’s legal bills will likely wipe them out financially”, according to the Wall Street Journal.

His $250 million bond was 25 times larger than the collateral that officials demanded from disgraced Ponzi scheme financier Bernie Madoff in 2009.

While Bankman-Fried was being flown to the States to face the charges on a private jet Wednesday night, Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams announced that two of his cohorts had also been charged in connection with the alleged grift and secretly pleaded guilty.

Gary Wang, 29, an FTX co-founder, and Carolyn Ellison, 28, the former CEO of Alameda Research and Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend, copped to wire fraud, securities fraud and commodities fraud, according to prosecutors.

This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission

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