• Sam Bankman-Fried walked out of federal court on Thursday after posting a $250 million bond, the largest ever pretrial bond.
• The bond was not paid in cash, but instead was secured through collateral.
• Bankman-Fried was released on house arrest while awaiting trial on multiple fraud charges.
On Thursday, Sam Bankman-Fried made history. The prominent founder of financial services firm FTX walked out of federal court with a record-breaking $250 million bond. Bankman-Fried had been arrested on multiple charges of fraud and was facing a trial. However, his family was able to secure his release on a surety bond.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Roos described the bond as “the largest ever” pretrial bond. Typically, a bail bondsman charges between 10-15% of the bond amount in cash for a surety bond. In this case, 15% of $250 million would have been $37.5 million. However, Bankman-Fried did not pay a dime in cash. Instead, he pled collateral in the full amount of the bond. If he failed to appear in court, the pledged collateral would be forfeited to the court.
Fortunately, Bankman-Fried was able to post the bond and was released on house arrest while he awaits trial. He returned to his parents‘ home in Palo Alto, California, where he will remain under close supervision. The legal implications of the case are far reaching, as former SEC Enforcement Branch Chief and Bragança Law Attorney Lisa Bragança discussed in the media.
While the decision to post the bond was certainly a remarkable one, it is yet to be seen what the outcome of the trial will be. Whatever the result, Bankman-Fried has made his mark on history with this unprecedented bond.