By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters)—Sam Bankman-Fried will be released on a $250 million bond package while he awaits trial on fraud charges related to the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, a federal magistrate judge said on Thursday.
Prosecutors have accused him of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Nicolas Roos, a prosecutor, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein that the bail package would require Bankman-Fried to surrender his passport and remain in home confinement at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. He would also be required to undergo regular mental health treatment and evaluation.
Roos called the package the “largest ever pretrial bond.”
Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyer Mark Cohen said he agreed with these conditions. He noted that his parents – both Stanford Law School professors – would co-sign the bond and post the equity in their home as assurance for Bankman-Fried’s return to court.
“My client remained where he was, he made no effort to flee,” Cohen said.
Wearing a gray suit and leg restraints, Bankman-Fried sat flanked by his lawyers and nodded when the judge informed him that if he fails to appear in court, a warrant would be issued for his arrest.
Gorenstein set Bankman-Fried’s next court date for Jan. 3, 2023.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes, Nick Zieminski, Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)