FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried released with $250 million bond
Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former cryptocurrency executive, was freed on Thursday by a federal magistrate who imposed highly restrictive bail conditions, including a $250 million bond and the obligation to remain under house arrest with his parents in California.
The appearance in federal court for the District of Manhattan came just hours after Mr Bankman-Fried, 30, arrived in the US following his extradition from the Bahamas, where he was arrested at an apartment complex luxury on December 12 and detained in a room. jail.
As part of the bail agreement, Mr. Bankman-Fried will live with his parents in Palo Alto, California, under strict electronic monitoring, including a bracelet that will be placed on him before he leaves the courthouse. justice.
The $250 million personal bond — a written promise to appear in court if needed — will be secured by his parents’ interest in their home, the judge said. He also had to surrender his passport and undergo treatment for mental disorders and drug addiction. Any expenditure over $1,000 would require prior government approval.
The judge, Gabriel W. Gorenstein, warned Mr. Bankman-Fried that if he did not appear in court or violated any of the other conditions, a warrant would be issued for his arrest and he and his parents would be responsible to pay the heavy obligation.
When asked if he understood, Mr Bankman-Fried replied: “Yes, I understand”, the only words he spoke during the hearing, which lasted less than an hour.
Talks over a bail deal had begun even before Mr Bankman-Fried was extradited. In court on Thursday, the settlement was formally offered by U.S. prosecutors for the Southern District of New York who filed charges against Mr. Bankman-Fried.
Mr Bankman-Fried was escorted to court wearing a dark suit and sat between his two lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell.
Mr. Cohen maintained that Mr. Bankman-Fried was not a flight risk. “My client has voluntarily consented to come and face these charges here in New York,” he told the judge. “He wants to address them.”
Nicolas Roos, an assistant US attorney, said Mr Bankman-Fried had committed crimes of “epic proportions” and the case against him involved several cooperating witnesses, as well as encrypted text messages and tens of thousands of pages financial documents. But he noted that Mr Bankman-Fried had ‘family and community ties’ and that his wealth had ‘decreased significantly’.
“It would be very difficult for this defendant to go into hiding without being recognized,” Judge Gorenstein said. “So I think the risk of flight is being mitigated appropriately.”
Mr. Bankman-Fried was charged with two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy relating to securities and commodity fraud, money laundering and violation of campaign finance laws.
Ephrat Livni and Liset Cruz contributed report.