Crime & Justice

FTX founder released on $250 mn bond

New York, Dec 22 (EFE).- The indicted founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, will be allowed to await trial at his parents’ home in California on $250 million bail, Federal Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein ruled here Thursday.

Bankman-Fried, 30, was extradited to the United States from the Bahamas late Wednesday to face charges for securities fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws, among other offenses.

In addition to posting what prosecutors described as “the largest-ever pretrial bond,” the disgraced crypto promoter will have to wear an ankle monitor and undergo mental health counseling.

And his parents, who are both professors at Stanford Law School, will be expected to keep the defendant under “strict” supervision, Gorenstein said.

Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried accompanied their son at Thursday’s hearing in US District Court in Manhattan.

Media outlets reported that Bankman-Fried declined to contest his extradition from the Bahamas in exchange for an assurance that he would be granted bail.

The former CEO of FTX, which had a putative value of $32 billion at its peak, spent more than a week behind bars in the Bahamas – his adopted home – before agreeing to be extradited.

FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 and the new, court-appointed CEO, John Ray, has characterized the situation at the firm as a “complete failure of corporate control.”

Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos said during Thursday’s hearing that Bankman-Fried was at the center of “a fraud of epic proportions.”

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they had reached plea agreements with FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, who headed FTX-linked hedge fund Alameda Research.

Ellison and Wang pleaded guilty to fraud charges and are cooperating with law enforcement. EFE


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