Judge orders that SBF's $250 million bail guarantors be made public

By: Michael Wilson

Judge orders that SBF's $250 million bail guarantors be made public

January 31, 2023 6:02 AM

A verdict on Jan. 30 could make public the identities of the two people who signed on as sureties for Sam Bankman's $250 million bond, subject to appeal.

After a recent decision by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan, the identities of the two people who helped former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with his $250 million bail bond could be revealed next month.

According to a filing from January 30, Kaplan allowed a group of eight media sites to petition for the two people's identities to be revealed "for the restricted purpose of claiming the public's claimed right to have access to the identities." He did, however, observe that there was little weight in support of either side of the debate.

There is also no guarantee that the names of the guarantors will be made public, since Kaplan has given Bankman-Legal Fried's lawyer until February 7 to try to overturn the judgment. The court added that an "appeal is expected" and that "if a notice of appeal from this judgment is filed by then," he would extend the deadline to Feb. 14 to allow for a further stay application.

Bankman-Fried was released in December after two unknown individuals signed on as sureties for the $250 million bail, along with Bankman-Fried's parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.

In a letter to District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan from January 12, eight big media companies like Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and Reuters asked for the names of the two people who guaranteed the bond to be made public.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, which represents the media conglomerates, says that "the public's right to know about bankman-guarantor Fried's trumped their privacy and safety interests."

On the other hand, bankman-lawyers have kept saying that their identities should be kept secret because his parents have already been threatened and because the FTX founder and anyone who is connected to him face major security risks.

In his decision, Kaplan stated that he has "no reason" to doubt that threats had happened but has yet to see "proof to that effect."

"it does not necessarily follow that the non-parental sureties would experience equal threats and harassment."

Kaplan also said that the Frieds were closely watched because they were close to their son and because his father worked at FTX for a year before it shut down.

So, he said, the defendant's claim that the non-parental sureties would have to deal with similar intrusions is at best a guess.

Additionally, "the information sought, i.e., the names of the bail sureties," Kaplan continued, "is generally public information."

Lawyers for the former FTX CEO stated in a court document on Jan. 19 that three individuals rammed a car into the metal barricade outside Bankman-Fried's parents' home, where he is under house arrest.

Security guards say that the unknown people drove away before they could write down the license plate of the car.