Bloomberg, WSJ and CoinDesk Among Media Orgs Seeking to Know Who Bailed Out Sam Bankman-Fried
A wide range of major media groups have taken legal action to reveal the identities of the two non-parental parties who co-signed Sam Bankman-Fried's $250 million bail bond.
Following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and then extradited to the U.S. to face a number of charges from federal prosecutors. A U.S. judge in late December released Bankman-Fried on $250 million bail backed by his parents and two other parties whom his lawyers requested remain anonymous, citing privacy and safety concerns.
“The public’s interest in this matter cannot be overstated,” said one filing made Thursday to Judge Lewis Kaplan in the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Financial Times, CNBC, Reuters, Dow Jones (publisher of the Wall Street Journal) and Washington Post, among others. "Mr. Bankman-Fried stands accused of perpetrating one of the largest financial frauds in history."
"Any purported interest in keeping these names secret or private is outweighed by the tremendous public interest in the identities of these individuals,” said a separate legal filing made on behalf of CoinDesk. "The public has a clear and powerful interest in who these allies may be," the filing continued. "The risk of illegitimacy and public scandal cannot be evaluated without knowing who Bankman-Fried’s guarantors are."
The New York Times also made a separate filing on the same issue Wednesday.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have cited physical threats as reasons for keeping the details secret. He has pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud and money laundering, and was released on bail Dec. 22.