Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO of FTX, will be released on a $250 million bail after a bargain was reached in a New York City courtroom today.
Last Monday, he was detained in the Bahamas on a variety of fraud and money laundering allegations related to one of the largest financial crimes in American history, according to authorities.
It was said that he utilized his crypto-trading platform as a “personal piggy bank,” persuading clients to deposit billions of dollars with him so that he could route their assets into his own firm.
His alleged scam was disclosed in November, when FTX filed for bankruptcy.
On Thursday, December 23rd, a judge agreed to release him on bond for the “largest pre-trial amount in US history.”
The arrangement is a recognizance bond signed by the parents of Bankman-Fried and two other persons with ‘significant’ assets.
His parents secured his freedom with the equity in their home, but they are not required to pay the whole sum.
Instead, they will be held responsible if he does not appear in court. SBF arrived in court wearing a black suit and tie while restrained. He simply spoke to indicate his comprehension of the charges and bail arrangement.
Barbara and Alan Bankman-Fried, both law professors at Stanford University, have consented to utilize the equity in their $4 million California home, where he would reside while his house arrest, to satisfy the bond requirement.
Two more individuals, one familial and one non-relative, will complete the bond. It is unclear if he must pay the whole $250 million or only a fraction.
Bankman-Fried, 30, was charged with fraud and money laundering after allegedly taking $1.8 billion from his crypto-trading platform, FTX, to pay his personal lifestyle.
According to federal prosecutors and SEC investigators, he exploited the site as a “personal piggy bank” to pay his own lifestyle.
Prosecutors informed the court that SBF engaged in fraud of “epic dimensions.” The court concurred with the prosecution’s assessment that “the weight of the evidence was substantial.”
One of the reasons he was confident in giving bail was SBF’s sudden celebrity; he had “acquired such recognition that it would be hard” for him to conceal, he explained.
Another condition of his bond is that he must wear an electronic ankle monitor. After alleging depression in prior hearings, he is prohibited from obtaining new credit accounts, must reside inside the Northern District of California, and must attend mental health therapy.
Barbara and Alan, his parents, followed him to court today and to the Bahamas. Barbara reportedly giggled whenever the court referred to her son as a fugitive.
The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the couple owns not just their $4 million house in Stanford, but also a holiday residence in The Bahamas.
Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled to return to court on January 3.