A federal magistrate judge on Thursday ordered disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried released on a $250 million personal recognizance bond signed by his parents and secured by their Palo Alto, California, home.
A prosecutor called it the largest pretrial bond ever.
Bankman-Fried who did not enter a plea during the brief hearing, appeared in a dark suit and tie with his noticeable mop like curly hair.
Shackles were not visible around his ankles but echoed through the courtroom as he entered.
Both of his parents, former Stanford Law professors, appeared in the gallery.
The 30-year-old Crypto executive is charged with defrauding customers and investors in the now bankrupt crypto exchange FTX.
He made his initial appearance in a New York federal court hours after he arrived in the United States after being arrested in the Bahamas last week.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried perpetrated a fraud of epic proportions,” assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Roos said. “The evidence is very strong.”
Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein ordered Bankman-Fried’s passport taken and his travel restricted. He will be under strict pretrial supervision, required to live with his parents at their house. He can go to the gym but otherwise his movements are limited and monitored by an ankle bracelet fitted before leaving the courtroom.
Prosecutors charged him with 8 counts of indictment for fraud, conspiracy and campaign finance violations of tens of millions of dollars in political donations.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York accused the crypto giant of fraud from the moment he founded FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Fried’s net worth allegedly dropped by 94% after the collapse of FTX, but he’s still estimated to be a billionaire, showing a net worth of $951 million that people know of. Crypto is very hard to trace.
According to the indictment Bankman-Fried stole $8 billion from FTX investors and customers and used it to pay debts and expenses of Alameda Research, his privately held hedge fund.
He also used the money to purchase a lavish real estate and make political donations to mainly Democrats but also some Republicans he sought influence in Washington from, prosecutors said.
Bankman-Fried is due back in court on January 3 before Judge Ronnie Abrams, who the criminal case is assigned to.
He only uttered three words in the courtroom to the judge when asked if he understood the consequences of jumping bail, he responded with “yes I do.”
The judge imposed one other restriction that Bankman-Fried can open no new lines of credit and conduct no financial transaction in excess of $1,000 without court approval.
Do you think he will go into hiding with his wealth and run?
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