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Dec 22, 2022  |  News

How Bankman-Fried’s $250M Bail Compares to Historical Financial Fraudsters

The bail terms for Sam Bankman-Fried were not exactly unprecedented, but were much higher than the one received by the man who perhaps ran the most well-known financial scheme in history. 

The FTX founder faces charges including wire fraud, money laundering and violating campaign finance laws. He was set to be released on $250 million bond after appearing in Manhattan federal court Thursday, the New York Post reported. He was to stay under house arrest at his parents’ home in California.   

The bond was secured by equity in Bankman-Fried’s family home, as well as by the signatures of his parents and two other individuals with “considerable” assets, according to CNBC.

Some have compared Bankman-Fried to Bernie Madoff, who was released on a $10 million bail in 2008 after authorities said he had confessed to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. The bail amount was secured by various family homes held in his wife’s name, according to The New York Times. 

“Like Madoff, FTX’s Bankman-Fried proved adept at using his pedigree and connections to seduce investors, unbeknownst to them, into participating in one of the more high-profile schemes in modern times,” Bill Herrmann, co-founder of fund manager Wilshire Phoenix, told Blockworks in an email.

Madoff was ultimately sentenced to 150 years in federal prison, where he died in April 2021 at the age of 82. 

Seth Taube, a former federal prosecutor and ex-SEC official, previously told Blockworks that if convicted, Bankman-Fried could receive a Madoff-like sentence.