Bankman-Fried could try to reach a settlement on his own, but since the prosecution is most likely targeting him, he might not receive much leniency.
Sam Bankman-Fried, who was charged with fraud in connection with the demise of FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange he co-founded, was released on a $250 million bail package following his first US court appearance.
Bankman-Fried appeared before a magistrate judge on Thursday in Manhattan federal court for the bond hearing. He did not enter a plea; instead, the judge overseeing his case will do so later.
The bail amount includes a $250 million personal recognizance bond, which is backed by the California home of his parents. He is obligated by its conditions to remain with them and consent to electronic surveillance.
Initially denied bail in Nassau and transported to the infamous Fox Hill prison, the former CEO of FTX later changed his mind. He eventually departed the island on a US government-chartered jet on Wednesday night, but his departure from the US was delayed due to uncertainty in the Bahamas Magistrate’s Court.
Bankman-Fried did not pose a threat to the public in terms of potential future financial crimes, according to US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein, who also claimed that there was little chance that he would leave.
Bankman-Fried, 30, was charged with orchestrating a years-long fraud in which he used billions of dollars in FTX customer funds for personal expenses and high-risk bets through the exchange’s sister trading house, Alameda Research, in an indictment that Manhattan federal prosecutors unveiled on December 13.
FTX’s collapse reverberated across an already-embattled cryptocurrency industry, prompting calls for further regulation as well as accountability for those who led the exchange. It was a stunning downfall for Bankman-Fried, a leading industry figure who was once estimated to be worth more than $25 billion and had emerged as a major political donor.
The collapse of FTX sent shockwaves through the already troubled cryptocurrency market, inspiring calls for further regulation and holding those in charge of the exchange accountable. It was a shocking fall from grace for Bankman-Fried, a prominent businessman previously thought to be worth more than $25 billion and who had become a significant political donor.
Bankman-Fried has attempted to make the case that the failure of the exchange was caused by management errors rather than willful fraud in multiple media interviews following FTX’s bankruptcy filing in November.