The disgraced financier had recently claimed to have just $100,000 to his name.
He was arrested in the Bahamas last week on a range of fraud and money laundering charges for what prosecutors described as one of the biggest financial crimes in American history.
They allege that he used his crypto-trading platform as a ‘personal piggy bank’, convincing investors to mark their billions with him only to funnel their assets into his own company. His alleged scheme was revealed when FTX filed for bankruptcy in November.
Today, a judge agreed to grant him bail – the ‘largest pre-trial amount in US history’ and 25 times the $10million posted by Bernie Madoff.
Four people including his parents and one other relative vouched for him.
Sam Bankman-Fried is shown leaving court on Thursday after being granted $250million bond – the largest pre-trial amount in history
The agreement is a recognizance bond signed by Bankman-Fried’s parents and two other individuals with ‘considerable’ assets.
His parents guaranteed it using the equity of their home, but neither they nor the other parties are required to put up the full cash amount to secure his freedom. Instead, they will be held liable if he fails to show up to court. SBF appeared in court shackled, wearing a dark suit and tie.
He spoke only to confirm that he understood the charges and the bail agreement.
His parents, Stanford Law professors Barbara and Allan Bankman-Fried, have agreed to put up the equity they own in their $4million California home, where he will live during his house arrest, as part of the bail requirement.
Bankman-Fried, 30, has been charged with a range of fraud and money laundering charges after allegedly stealing $1.8billion from his crypto-trading platform, FTX, to fund his own life.
Federal prosecutors and investigators from the SEC say he used the platform like a ‘personal piggy bank’ to fund his own lifestyle.
Bankman-Fried stifled a grin as he emerged from the court on Thursday
Sam Bankman-Fried is depicted in court on Thursday where he was granted $250million bail
Bankman-Fried’s mother, Barbara, is shown arriving in court on Thursday
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas last week and was extradited to New York where he appeared before a judge today.
Prosecutors told the court that SBF committed fraud of ‘epic proportions’. The judge agreed with the prosecution that the ‘weight of the evidence was strong’.
One of the reasons he was confident in granting bond was SBF’s newfound fame – he has ‘achieved sufficient notoriety that it would be impossible’ for him to hide, he said.
Another term of his bail agreement is wearing an electronic ankle monitor. He is banned from opening any new lines of credit, he must remain within the Northern District of California and must undergo mental health counseling after complaining of depression in previous proceedings.
He will return to court on January 3rd.
His parents, Stanford Law professors Barbara and Allan Bankman-Fried, have agreed to put up the equity they own in their $4million California home, where he will live during his house arrest, as part of the bail requirement
His parents, Barbara and Allan, accompanied him to court today and in the Bahamas. Barbara is said to have laughed every time the judge referred to her son as a fugitive.
According to a recent report by The Washington Free Beacon, the couple not only own their $4million home in Stanford, but also a vacation property in The Bahamas.
It’s unclear how much they paid for the beachfront apartment, but it was part of a $121million portfolio purchased using funds from FTX, the report claimed.
He was due to testify before Congress about his failed business, and in leaked testimony claimed that he had just $100,000 to his name, but that he could make all his investors who lost money ‘whole again’.
Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend and former CEO, Caroline Ellison, has entered a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid charges of her own.
She was facing 110 years in prison on seven tax violations and various counts of fraud, but prosecutors have agreed not to prosecute her on the most serious charges.
In exchange, she will cooperate with their ongoing investigation and will plead guilty to the less serious tax violations, which would see her saddled with a $250,000 fine.
Sam Bankman-Fried is shown being extradited to the US yesterday