SBF's lawyers try to prevent bail guarantors' identities from being released

By: Mark Jessy

SBF's lawyers try to prevent bail guarantors' identities from being released

February 8, 2023 8:37 AM

Last-minute filing of the appeal will delay the disclosure of SBF's two bond guarantors until at least February 14.

Two guarantors signed off on a portion of Sam Bankman-Fried's $250 million bail bond, but their identities have not been made public at this time.

A judge has also thrown out a deal that would have let Bankman-Fried use some texting apps.

On the very last day, February 7, Bankman Fried's attorneys appealed to prevent the guarantors' names from being made public. Although the appeal presented no new arguments against the disclosure, it will delay enforcement of the order until February 14 to accommodate a second stay application.

After United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan accepted a joint petition by eight prominent media outlets on January 30 to unseal the names of the guarantors, the appeal was to be expected.

Given the unusual nature of the situation, Kaplan anticipated that his ruling would be challenged.

Guarantors "would experience comparable intrusions" as Bankman-parents, Fried's he argued, but their bonds were only $200,000 and $500,000, therefore this argument did not hold water.

The bond was also signed by Bankman Fried's parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.

As the judge noted, the guarantors signed their individual bonds in a "highly publicized criminal procedure," exposing themselves to public scrutiny.

Meanwhile, on February 7th, Kaplan denied a joint deal between Bankman-attorneys Fried's and prosecutors that would have relaxed his bail conditions and allowed him access to some chat apps.

Kaplan did not explain why he was refusing the request, but he did say that it would be revisited at a hearing on February 9.

After it was uncovered that the former CEO had been contacting current and former employees of FTX and Alameda Research, on February 1st, Kaplan issued an order prohibiting Bankman-Fried from communicating with them due to the potential of "inappropriate contact with possible witnesses."