The now-bankrupt FTX sued the parents of its founder Sam Bankman-Fried over millions of dollars worth of gifts they allegedly received during the cryptocurrency exchange’s heyday, as the Stanford Law School professors’ role in their son’s alleged multibillion-dollar fraudulent scheme draws continued scrutiny.
Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried received “millions of dollars in fraudulently transferred and misappropriated funds from the parents,” attorneys representing FTX alleged in a late Monday filing in Delaware bankruptcy court, looking to return the supposed gifts to creditors.
FTX, which went bankrupt in November shortly before its former CEO Bankman-Fried was hit with a litany of federal criminal charges, accused Bankman and Fried of receiving a $10 million cash gift from their son and the deed to a $16.4 million property in the Bahamas, both paid for using funds from FTX and its sister hedge fund Alameda Research.
Attorneys broadly alleged both Bankman and Fried were directly or indirectly involved in FTX’s web of fraud.
The allegations outlined in the suit are “completely false,” Bankman’s attorney Sean Hecker and Fried’s attorney Michael Tremonte wrote in a joint statement.
“This is a dangerous attempt to intimidate Joe and Barbara and undermine the jury process just days before their child’s trial begins,” said Hecker and Tremonte. FTX CEO John J. Ray III and “his massive team of lawyers, who are collectively running up countless millions of dollars in fees while returning relatively little to FTX clients, know better."
What To Watch For
Bankman-Fried’s legal team will appear in New York federal court Tuesday requesting their client’s release from jail before his trial, where he’s been for the last six weeks after a judge determined he violated bail conditions. The former billionaire Bankman-Fried’s trial begins October 3 for allegedly misappropriating billions of dollars worth of customer funds at FTX and Alameda for personal gain.
Bankman-Fried had been awaiting trial at his parents’ home just off of Stanford’s main campus outside of Palo Alto, California. Bankman and Fried posted bail for their son in December, along with Stanford Law School dean Larry Kramer, who said he did so to support his “steadfast friends.” In January, three men allegedly tried to break through the security barricade outside of Bankman and Fried’s Bay Area home. Bankman-Fried acknowledged reports about his parents receiving a Bahamas property from FTX in a November interview with the New York Times, saying he didn’t know “details” but “it was not intended to be their long-term property.” A spokeswoman for Bankman and Fried told the paper soon thereafter the couple “never intended to and never believed they had any beneficial or economic ownership in the house.” Bankman was a paid FTX employee making an annual salary of $200,000, according to Monday’s lawsuit, while Fried did not have an official role at the company.
Monday’s complaint alleged Bankman appeared in an FTX ad debuted during the 2022 Super Bowl featuring comedian Larry David after pleading he’s “not a starfucker” but wanted to meet David.
“I’m broke and wearing an ankle monitor and one of the most hated people in the world. There will probably never be anything I can do to make my lifetime impact net positive,” Bankman-Fried wrote in private documents reported last week by the Times.