The crypto world was abuzz with the news of Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest, but what no one knew until now were the identities of two individuals who had put their own money on the line for SBF.
Who signed SBF’s bail?
Former Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer, and a research scientist at Stanford University, Andreas Paepcke, have been revealed as the co-signers of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail.
The two men contributed $500,000 and $200,000, respectively, towards Bankman-Fried’s bond, according to court records unsealed on February 16th.
The FTX founder’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who are both professors at Stanford University’s law school, also contributed to the bond by guaranteeing the value of their home in Palo Alto, California, where Bankman-Fried is allowed to remain ahead of his criminal trial on fraud charges.
Kramer said that he and his wife are friends with SBF’s parents, and that they had been close friends since the mid-1990s.
He stated that Bankman and Fried provided food and moral support to him and his family while frequently stepping in at moments’ notice to help during his family’s battle with cancer.
Kramer further added that they had been loyal and steadfast friends and that he contributed to the bond in his personal capacity without any business dealings or interest in the matter other than helping his friends.
Prosecutors in Manhattan brought eight criminal charges against Bankman-Fried in December, alleging that he misled investors and customers about FTX, his cryptocurrency exchange, and commingled funds with Alameda Research, a hedge fund he also controlled.
SBF pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyers have spent the weeks since his arrest trying to keep the names of Paepcke and Kramer secret, arguing that the two would be subject to harassment if their names were made public.
Why the Judge agreed to reveal the identities
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on January 30th ruled that the public’s interest in revealing the names of the co-signers outweighed their privacy rights.
The judge gave SBF’s lawyers a chance to appeal his decision, but they failed to file a separate request asking the appeals court to pause Kaplan’s order, leading to the names of Kramer and Paepke being unsealed on February 16th.
The crypto community has been searching the web for more details on Paepcke, but there appears to be little information connecting him to Bankman-Fried outside of their association at Stanford University, where Bankman and Fried used to be law professors.
Both Kramer and Paepcke denied having any business interest in the matter or receiving any payment from FTX or Alameda Research. This means that their involvement in SBF’s bail could be nothing more than an act of kindness or a reflection of the close relationships they share with the FTX founder’s parents.
As the legal battle against Bankman-Fried continues, prosecutors and the judge have raised concerns about the terms of his home confinement conditions.
They have expressed worries that SBF has access to tools that allow him to auto-delete and encrypt messages and to use a virtual private network (VPN) that enables him to disguise his internet activity.
The defense has argued that these tools are necessary for Bankman-Fried’s work and that he has not used them to hide anything from the authorities.