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“Crypto Sam” walked out of a New York federal courthouse Thursday after his parents and two other parties agreed to sign a $250 million bail bond and keep him under house arrest at his parents’ Palo Alto, California home while awaiting trial on federal charges.
Bankman-Fried flipped from fighting extradition from The Bahamas to the U.S. to not challenging the extradition after spending time in the notorious rat-infested Bahamian Fox Hill jail.
He faces federal criminal charges for eight counts of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and illegal campaign contributions after allegedly lying to FTX investors and taking billions of clients’ dollars for his own personal use.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos said in court on Thursday that Bankman-Fried “perpetrated a fraud of epic proportions.”
Roos told the court that an important reason for allowing bail was that Bankman-Fried agreed to be extradited to the U.S.
Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein agreed to the bond and house arrest, but insisted an electronic monitoring bracelet before he left the New York courthouse.
Roos had recommended it be attached Friday in California.
The judge ordered Bankman-Fried to get a mental health evaluation and barred him from taking out credit of more than $1,000.
Bankman-Fried’s next court date is scheduled for January 3, when he is scheduled to appear before the judge who will preside over his case.
While he was in flight back to the U.S., the U.S. Attorney’s office made an announcement on social media.
Two of Bankman-Fried’s former colleagues had secretly pleaded guilty to fraud charges and were cooperating with the federal investigation.
Carolyn Ellison, 28, is the former chief executive of Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research. Gary Wang, 29, co-founded FTX.
“They are both cooperating with the Southern District of New York,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated in the social media video.
Wiliams warned others who enabled the alleged fraud to come forward as he did in his first press conference when he announced Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest as earlier reported.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Ellison and Wang with defrauding investors. Neither of them is contesting the charges brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
The SEC also alleges that Bankman-Fried and his colleagues planned to manipulate the price of FTT, an exchange crypto security token that was integral to FTX.
"When FTT and the rest of the house of cards collapsed, Mr. Bankman-Fried, Ms. Ellison, and Mr. Wang left investors holding the bag," SEC chairperson Gary Gensler said in the release. "Until crypto platforms comply with time-tested securities laws, risks to investors will persist.”
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