The U.S. judge overseeing the fraud case against Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has come under pressure to name and shame the secret high-profile guarantors who helped front the FTX CEO and co-founder’s $250 million bond.
Eight major media outlets have asked the judge overseeing the case to make the names of two people public.
Currently, the names of the guarantors are being hidden by the courts.
The AP, Bloomberg, CNBC, WSJ publisher Dow Jones, the Financial Times, Insider, and the Washington Post sent a joint request to the judge to unseal the identities.
The New York Times also made a separate request to the judge for the names to be publicized.
They argue that the public interest “cannot be overstated” and insist that the people’s right to know outweighs the guarantors’ rights to privacy.
“In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, the lawyers distinguished the case from another judge’s December 2020 decision not to reveal who guaranteed a bond for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, then accused and later convicted of aiding in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes,” Reuters reported.
“While Mr. Bankman-Fried is accused of serious financial crimes, a public association with him does not carry nearly the same stigma as with the Jeffrey Epstein child sex trafficking scandal,” lawyers for the outlets wrote in a letter to the judge.
Notably, the judge in the SBF case is the same one who presided over Ghislaine Maxwell’s case.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, also represented Maxwell in her criminal case.
SBF also hired James P. Harkins, a private investigator known as the “real hound dog,” who also worked for Maxwell.
SBF’s lawyers have argued that his parents – who co-signed the $250 million bond using their house as (very fractional) collateral, have been harassed and received physical threats since the early November collapse of FTX.
One of the conditions of his bail would be house arrest at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California.
According to the NY Post, the family had contracted a private security firm in the Bay Area to patrol the grounds for $10,000 per week to protect SBF from mounting death threats.
One source told the Post, “They’re [family] nervous … there have been numerous death threats.
“They’re not taking any chances.”
Bankman-Fried’s parents hired workers to construct a network of security cameras around the home on the edge of Stanford University’s campus.
SBF’s lawyers argue there is a “serious cause for concern” over the two other guarantors if their names went public.
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