FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Freed is released on $250 million bond

Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former cryptocurrency executive, was released from custody Thursday by a federal judge who imposed extremely restrictive bail conditions, including $250 million bail and the requirement that he live with his parents in California remains in custody.

The appearance in Federal District Court in Manhattan came just hours after Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, arrived in the United States following his extradition from the Bahamas, where he was held on December 12 and in a local jail.

While the bail agreement is in place, Mr. Bankman-Fried will be living with his parents in Palo Alto, Calif. under strict electronic surveillance, including a wristband that will be put on him before he leaves the courthouse.

The $250 million personal guarantee of acknowledgment — a written promise to appear in court if necessary — is backed by his parents’ interest in their home, the judge said. He was also required to surrender his passport and undergo treatment for mental health and substance abuse. All expenses over $1,000 require prior government approval.

The judge, Gabriel W. Gorenstein, warned Mr. Bankman-Fried that if he fails to appear in court or violates any of the other terms, a warrant will be issued for his arrest and he and his parents will be responsible for paying the hefty bail .

When asked if he understood, Mr. Bankman-Fried replied, “Yes, I do,” the only words he uttered at the hearing, which lasted less than an hour.

Bail talks had already begun before Mr. Bankman-Fried was extradited. On Thursday, the deal was proposed in court by US Attorneys in the Southern District of New York who are prosecuting Mr. Fried.

Mr. Bankman-Fried was escorted into court in a dark suit and sat between his two attorneys, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell.

Mr. Cohen argued that Mr. Bankman-Fried was not a flight risk. “My client has voluntarily agreed to face these charges here in New York,” he told the judge. “He wants to talk to her.”

Nicolas Roos, an assistant US attorney, said Mr. Bankman-Fried had committed crimes of “epic proportions” and the case against him involved multiple cooperating witnesses as well as encrypted text messages and tens of thousands of pages of financial records. But he noted that Mr. Bankman-Fried has “family and social ties” and his wealth has “shrunk considerably”.

“It would be very difficult for this defendant to go into hiding without being recognized,” Justice Gorenstein said. “So I think the risk of absconding is adequately reduced.”

Mr. Bankman-Fried was charged with two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy involving securities and merchandise fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws.

Ephrat Livni Spirit Lisa Cruz contributed reporting.

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