For now, two signers of fallen cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s bond can keep their identities secret pending his trial on wire fraud and campaign finance charges, a federal judge ruled.
The ruling fell a day after the FTX founder’s lawyers alerted the court to a “security incident” involving a black car that drove up to the barricades outside his parents’ home, where Bankman-Fried is staying pending a trial.
“Three men got out of the car,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Christian R. Everdell wrote in a three-page letter on Thursday. “When the security guard on duty confronted them, the men said something to the effect of: ‘You won’t be able to keep us out.’ The men got back in the car and quickly drove away before the security guard was able to see the license plate. Neither the car nor the individuals have been identified.”
The crypto mogul’s lawyers invoked the incident to highlight the “privacy and security” concerns of any associate of Bankman-Fried, who is widely known by his initials SBF.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is presiding over the case, didn’t mention the incident in his handwritten order keeping the names of the signers temporarily under seal.
The judge simply stated that he would approve the signing of the bond by two of the sureties — and address whether to drag them into the public spotlight later.
“In view of the fact that the Government has agreed to all of the bail conditions for reasons it finds satisfactory, the Courts role here is extremely limited,” the order states. “I approve the signing by the non-parent sureties of separate appearance bonds and of the amounts agreed by the parties. The names and addresses of the non-parental sureties shall remain under seal pursuant to my prior ruling pending the outcome of the motion practice now under weigh with respect to whether those names should be made public.”
The two known signers are Bankman-Fried’s parents: Stanford University law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.
Federal prosecutors and Securities and Exchange Commission regulators both allege that Bankman-Fried raised $1.8 billion from FTX investors, while allegedly diverting billions to Alameda Research, his proprietary crypto hedge fund.
Two of Bankman-Fried’s high-ranking associates have pleaded guilty: Alameda’s former CEO Caroline Ellison, 28, and FTX’s co-founder Gary Wang, 29.
This is a developing story.
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