Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty To Fraud Charges
Judge Grants Anonymity to SBF Bail Bond Signers
By: Aleksandar Gilbert •FTX Crisis
Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried posted his $250M bail bond with the help of his parents and two unnamed people. Now, a judge has granted his request to keep the names of those people secret.
Those individuals — “sureties,” in legal parlance — have until Thursday to sign their bonds, part of the bail agreement that has allowed Bankman-Fried to stay at his parents’ California home while he awaits trial.
Bankman-Fried is facing criminal charges that include wire fraud and money laundering, as well as lawsuits from the SEC and CFTC. Law enforcement agencies allege he used billions in FTX customer deposits to prop up his trading firm, Alameda Research.
In a letter to District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers asked that Kaplan redact the names of the sureties from their bonds and bar the government from sharing them.
SBF Pleads Not Guilty
Kaplan granted the request at a hearing Tuesday, Law & Crime reported. At that same hearing, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to all charges, and his trial date was set for Oct. 2.
In requesting the sureties’ anonymity, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said the former FTX CEO’s parents have been harassed and threatened since helping to bail out their son last month.
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“If the two remaining sureties are publicly identified, they will likely be subjected to probing media scrutiny and potentially targeted for harassment, despite having no substantive connection to the case,” his lawyers wrote. “We have conferred with the Government on this issue and have been informed that the Government takes no position on the request.”
“The [government] is going easy on SBF,” Gabriel Shapiro, general counsel at Delphi Labs, wrote on Twitter. “I think we as an industry deserve to know who helped bail out SBF–it might reveal his continuing allies within the industry.”
But Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued that similar requests had been granted in the past — most recently for their infamous client, Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell.
Days after Bankman-Fried’s release, wallets associated with Alameda moved tokens worth more than $1.5M to centralized exchanges, according to Nansen data journalist Martin Lee.
Bankman-Fried took to Twitter to deny speculation he was responsible for the transfers.
“None of these are me. I’m not and couldn’t be moving any of those funds; I don’t have access to them anymore,” he wrote on Dec. 30.”