Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been released on a $250 million bond following his first appearance in federal court. There, he was accused of misappropriating billions of dollars in customer funds in what is one of the largest fraud schemes in U.S. history.
The enormous personal recognizance bond, which federal prosecutors described as perhaps the largest ever, will be co-signed by his parents and two other suretors, and will be secured by his parents’ Palo Alto, California, home. The bond will be used to ensure that the defendant appears in court for all future proceedings.
As a condition of release, Bankman-Fried must live in his parent’s home with electronic bracelet and other electronic monitoring. This will allow his parents to keep a close eye on him as he continues to serve his sentence.
He was prohibited from opening new lines of credit and barred from transactions over $1,000, except to pay lawyers. This made it difficult for him to start a new business.
Thursday afternoon, Sam Bankman-Fried, the alleged mastermind behind the Financial Technologies Exchange (FTX) scandal, left the courthouse in lower Manhattan. Bankman-Fried, who was arrested in December and charged with securities fraud, was seen leaving the courthouse with his wife and attorneys.
His wife was seen comforting him as they walked to their car. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have said that he is innocent and will fight the charges. His trial is scheduled to begin in September.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said he was required by federal law to accept the bond package for Bankman-Fried unless he concluded there was no way to ensure the defendant would appear for trial. That was not the case, said the judge, who noted that the defendant has no history of prior arrests or violence.
“If you fail to appear in court or violate any of the conditions, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and the bond could be forfeited,” the judge warned.
Gorenstein believes that the release conditions, particularly the electronic monitoring, “will go a long way in ensuring the defendant is kept in check.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos painted a damning portrait of Mr. Bankman-Fried, accusing him of perpetrating a massive fraud that harmed many victims. Roos described the government’s case as strong, with multiple cooperating witnesses.