Alleged Crypto Fraudster and Dem Megadonor Bankman-Fried Posts $250 Million Bond

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of crypto currency exchange FTX, is escorted into the Magistrate Court building in Nassau, Bahamas December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello
December 22, 2022

Sam Bankman-Fried will be released on a $250 million bond package while he awaits trial on fraud charges related to the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, a federal magistrate judge said on Thursday.

Prosecutors have accused the Democratic megadonor of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Nicolas Roos, a prosecutor, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein that the bail package would require Bankman-Fried to surrender his passport and remain in home confinement at his parents' home in Palo Alto, California. He would also be required to undergo regular mental health treatment and evaluation.

Roos called the package the "largest ever pretrial bond."

His defense lawyer Mark Cohen said he agreed with these conditions. He noted that his parents - both Stanford Law School professors - would co-sign the bond and post the equity in their home as assurance for Bankman-Fried's return to court.

"My client remained where he was, he made no effort to flee," Cohen said.

Bankman-Fried, who is also charged with campaign finance violations, was the second-largest Democratic donor of the midterm cycle. His parents, the Stanford law school professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, were also involved in democratic politics.

Wearing a gray suit and leg restraints, Bankman-Fried sat flanked by his lawyers and nodded when the judge informed him that if he fails to appear in court, a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

Gorenstein set Bankman-Fried's next court date for Jan. 3, 2023.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes, Nick Zieminski, Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)

Editor's Note, December 23, 5:22 p.m.: The headline of this piece has been updated to reflect a Reuters request to refer to FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried as an alleged crypto fraudster rather than as a crypto fraudster.