Monday, June 5, 2023

‘The Largest-Ever Pretrial Bond’: Why Sam Bankman-Fried’s $250 Million Bail Is Unprecedented

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Though FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried was unable to get bail in the Bahamas, he secured a hefty $250 million bail in New York, which was described as “the largest-ever pretrial bond.”

When he went to court last week in the Bahamas, a judge feared he could flee the country and denied him bail as he was ordered to jail at the Bahamas Department of Corrections. But when he was extradited to New York, a US judge easily granted him bail, which was surprising considering the billions of dollars lost on his platform and the alleged funneling of money from FTX to his sister company.

The former billionaire previously stated in a media interview that he only had $100,000 left in his bank account after filing bankruptcy on his $32 billion crypto exchange, FTX. So when he was released on a $250 million bond, many were surprised.

What are the terms of Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail?

  • Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said Bankman-Fried would be released to his parents’ home in California with “strict” supervision.
  • He was released on a ‘recognizance bail’ which means he signed a commitment to return to court on Jan 3, when he will enter his plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ and be arraigned.
  • The ‘personal recognizance bond’ is based on Bankman-Fried’s promise with his parents’ promise to pay $250 million if he fails to show up for court.
  • His parent’s home, reportedly worth $4 million, was put up as equity, with their signatures along with two other people with “considerable” assets.
  • Bankman-Fried wears an electronic monitoring bracelet.
  • He must submit to mental health counseling.
  • The 30-year-old can only travel within and between the Northern District of California and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
  • He can not open any new lines of credit of more than $1,000 while awaiting trial.


Bankman-Fried did not have to pay any cash, but a simple commitment made him a free man. Typically, defendants on bond are charged 10-15 percent of the bail in cash or must commit to collateral in the full amount of the bond and if he or she fails to show up to court, the pledged collateral is forfeited.


Photo credit: Epoch Times

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