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Sam Bankman-Fried’s 2 mysterious bail sponsors ponied up a total of $700,000 to get the alleged fraudster out of jail

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sam bankman fried courtFormer FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves following a hearing at Manhattan federal court in New York City, U.S. January 3, 2023.

Andrew Kelly/Reuters

  • In addition to his parents, Sam Bankman-Fried has two anonymous bail sponsors keeping him out of jail.
  • They contributed $500,000 and $200,000 respectively, one of his lawyers disclosed in a court filing.
  • The judge is weighing a request from media organizations, including Insider, to unseal their names.

The two anonymous sponsors of Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail posted a total of $700,000 to help get him out of jail, the lawyer for the FTX cofounder said in a court filing Thursday night.

One of the two sponsors posted $500,000 while the other posted $200,000 to help guarantee the $250 million bond, which allows Bankman-Fried to remain under house arrest in his parents’ California home while awaiting trial in a Manhattan federal court.

In addition to the anonymous bail sponsors, Bankman-Fried’s parents used their $4 million Palo Alto home as collateral to help secure the bond. If Bankman-Fried violates its conditions, he’ll be on the hook for $250 million.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege Bankman-Fried “orchestrated a years-long fraud” in which he diverted funds from his FTX cryptocurrency exchange to Alameda Research, a crypto hedge fund he controlled as well. In court, prosecutors estimated he defrauded more than 1 million customers.

The prosecutors have secured guilty pleas from Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, two of Bankman-Fried’s top lieutenants at Alameda Research. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Christian Everdell, one of Bankman-Fried’s defense attorneys, disclosed the contributions of the two anonymous bail contributors so that US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the case, would include them in the bail condition documents.

“We therefore respectfully request that the Court update the bail conditions to reflect that the two non-parent sureties will sign separate appearance bonds prepared by the Magistrate Clerk’s office in the amount of $500,000 and $200,000, respectively,” Everdell wrote.

Earlier this month, several news organizations, including Insider, asked Kaplan to unseal the identities of the two anonymous bail sponsors, arguing it was in the public interest.

“Given Mr. Bankman-Fried’s relationships and access to some of the most wealthy, powerful, and politically connected individuals, including elected officials, access to the identity of the bond sureties will bolster trust in the judicial process here,” the news organizations wrote in the filing.

Everdell argued in a separate filing on Thursday night that disclosing their names would present a security risk to them.

He recounted an incident where a group of people drove up to the Bankman-Fried family’s Palo Alto home and spoke to his security guards.

“Recently, the Bankman-Frieds had a security incident at their home when a black car drove into the metal barricade set up outside their home,” Everdell wrote. “Three men got out of the car. When the security guard on duty confronted them, the men said something to the effect of: ‘You won’t be able to keep us out.’ The men got back in the car and quickly drove away before the security guard was able to see the license plate.”

Kaplan said in a court filing Friday that the names “shall remain under seal” as he continues to weigh the arguments.

A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on the identity of the bail sponsors.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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