Bankman-Fried’s Parents Suffer Online Threats
- Bankman-Fried’s lawyers claim the FTX founder’s parents have been subject to threats and negative media coverage.
- SBF’s lawyers have asked the presiding judge not to publicize the names of two sureties to keep them from facing similar assaults.
- Bankman-Fried is expected to plead not guilty during his court appearance on Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team has asked a judge to redact specific details about the people serving as sureties for his $250 million bond due to threats made to his family and parents. The lawyers submitted the letter on Tuesday to Judge Lewis Kaplan for the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, asking that the names and identities of two of the sureties be kept private to protect them from similar harassment faced by Bankman-Fried’s parents.
Speaking on the threats, Mark Cohen of the law firm Cohen & Gresser, said,
In recent weeks, Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents have become the target of intense media scrutiny, harassment, and threats. Among other things, Mr. Bankman-Fried’s parents have received a steady stream of threatening correspondence, including communications expressing a desire that they suffer physical harm. Consequently, there is serious cause for concern that the two additional sureties would face similar intrusions on their privacy as well as threats and harassment if their names appear unredacted on their bonds or their identities are otherwise publicly disclosed.
Bankman-Fried was released on bail in December with a $250 million bond and was ordered to stay with his parents in California. His legal team believes making public the names of those willing to back him financially could hamper the judicial process.
Bankman-Fried is also expected to enter a not-guilty plea on Tuesday in response to allegations that he defrauded investors in his now-defunct FTX crypto exchange. The 30-year-old is accused of heading one of the biggest cryptocurrency scams in history, stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to finance his Alameda Research hedge fund, and fund his lifestyle.
If convicted, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate could face up to 115 years in prison. Bankman-Fried was charged with two counts of wire fraud and six conspiracy counts, including charges of money laundering and violating campaign finance laws.
FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda chief executive Caroline Ellison have both pleaded guilty to criminal charges after being hit with both civil and criminal charges for fraud and conspiracy. Both parties also agreed to collaborate with prosecutors. Ellison expressed her regret to FTX’s clients and investors at a hearing last month, saying she acknowledged her mistakes.