Crypto Ex-FTX Boss Released on $250M Bail

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Crypto: ex-FTX boss released on $250 million bail

At its peak, Sam Bankman-Fried's fortune was estimated at $26 billion, based entirely on the valuation of his businesses, which have since gone bankrupt.

A federal judge New Yorker agreed on Thursday to release the founder and former boss of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange platform, Sam Bankman-Fried, on a monster bail of 250 million US dollars.

The most famous figure in the world of cryptocurrency walked free from federal court in Manhattan around 2:30 p.m.

Charged in particular with fraud and criminal association, SBF – his nickname – had been extradited Wednesday evening from the Bahamas, where the headquarters of FTX was located, after having given up contesting his surrender to the American authorities.

The huge bond is partly guaranteed by the California home of Sam Bankman-Fried's parents, where he will be placed under house arrest pending trial, under conditions approved by Judge Gabriel Gorenstein .

Sam Bankman-Fried's mother Barbara Fried guaranteed part of her son's bail using his home in California.

At the end of November, the central figure in the biggest scandal in cryptocurrency history claimed to have only $100,000 available. At its peak at the start of the year, his fortune was estimated at US$26 billion, backed entirely by shares in his companies, which have since gone bankrupt.

The magistrate allowed the release of the 30-year-old defendant, as he believes he poses a minimal flight risk and has never had a previous conviction. Known for his dark t-shirts and shorts, SBF showed up to the hearing in a gray suit and tie.

Sam Bankman-Fried is suspected of having used, with collaborators, funds deposited on the platform by FTX clients to carry out speculative financial transactions with his other company, Alameda Research.

Apart from risky transactions through Alameda, he is also suspected of having invested some of this money in real estate in the Bahamas and of having donated to Democratic politicians – always with funds of FTX clients – including Joe Biden during his presidential campaign.

Five of the eight counts against him each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison . The one who has long been seen as an iconoclastic genius of cryptocurrencies is therefore likely to spend the rest of his days in prison.

Sam Bankman-Fried faces eight counts.

The Manhattan federal prosecutor revealed on Wednesday that two other key figures in the case had recently been charged with fraud and criminal association. The latter have pleaded guilty and are collaborating with the government, which means that they could incriminate Sam Bankman-Fried.

They are Caroline Ellison, former boss of the company Alameda Research, and Gary Wang, co-founder of FTX, charged in connection with their role in the fraud which contributed to the collapse of FTX, a declared Damian Williams, without giving further details.

Since the bankruptcy of FTX on November 11, Sam Bankman-Fried has repeatedly argued publicly that he does not ;was no longer at the helm of Alameda Research for several months, indirectly incriminating Caroline Ellison.

An argument disputed by the public prosecutor, who claims that SBF remained the main decision maker within Alameda until FTX filed for bankruptcy.

If you have participated in offenses at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to come forward, Damian Williams warned Wednesday to encourage other alumni of both companies to work with the prosecution. We are moving fast and our patience is not eternal.

Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang have also been sued by the two main US financial market regulators , the SEC and the CFTC.

They have agreed to cooperate with the SEC, and have admitted the facts attributed to them by the CFTC, which should be worth to them, in the two cases, a more lenient judgment.

CFTC estimates that total funds misappropriated from FTX client accounts are $8 billion.

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