Two of those people are Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents, Stanford law professors who supported their son in promoting his exchange, FTX. It is not known who the other two co-signers are.
What to Know About the Collapse of FTX
What is FTX? FTX is a now bankrupt company that was one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It enabled customers to trade digital currencies for other digital currencies or traditional money; it also had a native cryptocurrency known as FTT. The company, based in the Bahamas, built its business on risky trading options that are not legal in the United States.
A spokesman for Mr. Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
How is it possible that such a high-profile defendant was released without having to pay any money?
Mr. Bankman-Fried was in the Bahamas when he was charged, and extradition can be a highly complicated process, leading to a lengthy legal battle. In court on Thursday, a prosecutor, Nicolas Roos, said that had Mr. Bankman-Fried not consented to extradition, it was “a near certainty” that the government would have sought his detention.
Sabrina Shroff, a former federal defender, said: “My guess is that this was an agreed-upon bail package before he ever left the Bahamas. Extradition from the Bahamas is difficult, and the defendant may have had ample opportunity to challenge extradition, which could have dragged out for years.”
$250 million seems like a really high number. Is it?
Yes. It is highly unusual for such a large bond to be set.
Bernie Madoff received a $10 million bail agreement in 2008, while Billy McFarland, the entrepreneur who created the disastrous Fyre Festival, was released on $300,000 bail. Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a friend of Donald J. Trump’s who was charged — and eventually acquitted — with illegally lobbying the United States on behalf of leaders in the United Arab Emirates, is one of few defendants in recent memory whose bail amount was as high as Mr. Bankman-Fried’s.
But if the crypto executive abides by the terms set by the court, the amount is largely symbolic.
Those terms are manifold though and include:
Mr. Bankman-Fried must surrender his travel documents and stay at his parents’ house.
He must not open new lines of credit or start another business.
He may not enter into any financial transactions of more than $1,000, except to pay his legal fees.
He agrees to be monitored electronically.
The value of his parents’ house has either already been assessed or is now likely to be, and a lien on the house must be posted by Jan. 12.