A US judge on Monday made an order enquiring the identities of two people who assisted in posting the bail for Sam Bankman-Fried. She did however put the decision on hold while she awaited an anticipated appeal. Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan granted the identities sought by Reuters and other media organizations such as Bloomberg.
The judge ruled that the defendant’s reason for confidentiality for the safety of the guarantors were overcome by the public’s limited right to know his guarantors. The identities would however be kept under wraps at least until February 7. The judge explained that the reason behind this was that the question posed was one of novelty and an appeal would likely be instituted. A representative of Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
Since entering a not guilty plea to a fraud charge stemming from the alleged theft of billions of dollars from FTX clients, Bankman-Fried had since been detained at his parents’ house in California. His parents, professors at Stanford Law School , jointly posted a $250 million bond for their son. They also received aid from two other guarantors who each had to execute guarantees worth $500,000 and $200,000.
Stigmatization of the guarantors
Following FTX’s insolvency and downfall in November, the parents have been the target of harassment and violent threats. According to Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorneys there is also a strong basis for concern that the remaining guarantors may experience the same treatment. Kaplan disputed pointing out that the parents had previously been subjected to extreme public criticism on their interactions with their son. This was well before the bail was posted where the son had been projected to be worth $26 billion.
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Kaplan also explained that now the individual bond values of $500,000 and $200,000 did not indicate that the sureties are extremely wealthy. This meant therefore they were unlikely to draw the kind of attention that the defendant’s parents seemed to have received. The issue was set apart from the precedent that withheld the identity of the person who provided security for Ghislaine Maxwell. It was claimed that associates of Sam Bankman-Fried received less stigma compared to those associated with the deceased sex offender. Subsequently, Maxwell was found guilty.