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Former CEO and founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been released on $250 million bail as he awaits trial for eight federal charges related to fraud. The 30-year-old crypto whizz is accused of mismanaging billions in customer funds at FTX.
A New York federal judge ruled on Thursday that FTX founder SBF will be released on a $250 million bond while he awaits trial for fraud related to his collapsed crypto empire. Per reports by CNBC and Reuters, SBF’s bail was secured by his parents Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who offered up their home in Palo Alto, California as collateral. This essentially means that since Bankman-Fried’s parents signed the bond agreement, they would be liable for $250 million should their son decide to flee. Many have wondered how SBF, or his parents, in fact, could afford bail as Bankman-Fried said in late November that he now had “close to nothing” left and has one remaining credit card with “maybe $100,000 in that bank account.”
Largest Bail in White Collar History
It is no surprise that SBF received bail as he is accused of committing a white collar, or financial crime. New York federal prosecutors have indicated SBF’s alleged crimes and the collapse of FTX as one of the largest financial frauds in the history of the United States, and his bond package understandably far exceeds some of the most notorious white-collar cases in that history. Reuters reports that one prominent New York bail bondsman who specializes in high-profile defendants said, “It’s the largest bond I’ve ever heard of in my history of doing bonds.”
One of the most prolific financial crimes in history – the $65 billion Ponzi scheme in which Bernard Madoff was at the helm, saw him released in 2008 on a $10 million bond. Madoff was ordered to surrender his passport and had to consent to strict monitoring conditions.
A more recent scandal saw Elizabeth Holmes, founder of blood testing startup Theranos, who was convicted of defrauding investors, released after her arrest in 2018 on a $500,000 bail bond after she was also required to surrender her passport.
Bail Conditions See SBF Surrender His Passport
As is common in accused crimes of this nature, defendants typically are required to surrender their passports and must wear monitoring devices. SBF’s bail package is not different. Prosecutor Nicolas Roos told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein that as part of the conditions of his bail, SBF would have to hand over his passport and will see him confined to his parent’s home.
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