Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder of the insolvent cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was released from custody after his first court appearance in New York to face fraud charges. The bail package granted to SBF was a record $250 million. This is one of the highest pretrial bonds in American history, claims federal prosecutor Nicholas Roos.
A bail package of $250 million
SBF was released on bail after securing a $250 million personal recognizance bond, which was backed by the California home of his parents. As a condition of his release, SBF is required to live with his parents and submit to electronic monitoring while he awaits his next court date.
The former CEO of FTX is also required to wear a tracking bracelet, get mental health counselling, and limit his travel to the Northern District of California.
According to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein, there was little risk that the FTX founder would escape and there was no threat of him committing more financial crimes in the future.
SBF, whose estimated fortune reportedly exceeded $25 billion, has been accused of conducting a multi-year scam that saw billions of dollars stolen from FTX clients.
Through the trading company of the exchange, Alameda Research, the former FTX CEO is said to have invested the money in high-risk ventures and luxurious real estate. Money laundering and securities fraud are among the fraud allegations.
Plead Guilty, FTX and Alameda Executives
The failure of FTX led to demands for transparency and responsibility in the regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector.
After the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November, SBF stated to the public that the company’s failure was due to mismanagement, not intentional fraud.
Two of his closest associates, Gary Wang, the former CTO of FTX, and Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, have admitted to fraud and other offences, including conspiracy to conduct commodities fraud and wire fraud.
The following court appearance for SBF is set for January 3, 2023. After being detained in the Bahamas earlier this month, he was deported to the US.