Narrow Escape: Sam Bankman-Fried released on $250m bail
Disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried avoided prison on Thursday after posting a $250m recognised bond before awaiting trial for charges of fraud and money laundering.
The US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has charged Bankman-Fried with eight criminal counts, including fraud and money-laundering offences. The previously heralded crypto hero reportedly used $10bn in stolen customer funds from FTX clients to save his hedge fund Alameda Research.
The 30-year-old arrived in court a day after this extradition from the Bahamas, where he was arrested by Nassau magistrates on 12 December charging him with ‘financial crimes’.
Having agreed on a recognised bond, Bankman-Fried will appear in court when ordered. However, in return, his team will not be required to pay the full $250m collateral of the bail.
At Thursday’s hearing in New York, federal prosecutors said that Bankman-Fried’s bond was “the highest ever pre-trial bond.”
“The $250 million personal recognizance bond signed by Mr. Bankman-Fried and co-signed by his parents … will be secured by the parents’ equity interest in their home” in Palo Alto, U.S. attorney’s spokesperson Nicholas Biase said in a statement.
US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein has set Bankman-Fried’s next court date for 3 January before handing over the case to US District Judge Ronny Abrams. The disgraced crypto billionaire will now return to his parent’s home in Palo Alto.
Bankman-Fried founded Alameda Research in 2017 and FTX in 2019. Earlier this year he graced the pages of Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in 2022.
Six months later, his $32bn empire now lies in tatters.