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Sam Bankman-Fried Faced Security Threat at Parents' Home, Lawyers Claim

The FTX founder's attorneys claim that men drove a car into the barricade at his parents' California home, where he’s under house arrest.

3 min read
Sam Bankman-Fried. Image: Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The collapse of FTX took an allegedly dangerous turn this week, as attorneys for founder Sam Bankman-Fried claimed that a driver crashed a car into the barricade at his parents' home—and that the car's occupants made threatening statements.

According to the letter, which was sent by Bankman-Fried’s attorneys to U.S. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan on Thursday, a driver recently crashed a black car into the metal barricade outside the home in Palo Alto, California, where he's currently residing on house arrest.

Three unidentified men allegedly got out of the vehicle and told a security guard something to the effect of, “You won’t be able to keep us out,” before driving away. The date of the alleged incident was not specified in the letter.

Bankman-Fried was released from custody by a New York judge via a $250 million bond agreement on December 22, following his arrest in the Bahamas and extradition to the United States the week before. The former FTX CEO relocated to his parents’ home in Northern California and remains under home detention as his trial proceeds.

The disgraced crypto mogul hired the law firm Cohen & Gresser to defend him against charges levied by the United States Department of Justice following FTX’s collapse in November. Mark Cohen, who submitted the letter with fellow attorney Christian Everdell, previously defended former Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

According to the New York Post, the cost of securing the 3,000-square-foot home—which is estimated to be worth between $3 million and $4 million—near Stanford University is around $10,000 per week. Bankman-Fried’s parents reportedly hired a private security firm for 24/7 protection.

His lawyers have fought to keep the names of the bond co-signers (besides his parents) private, citing security concerns. In a separate letter to Judge Kaplan, the attorneys claimed that his parents had received a “steady stream” of threatening correspondence, some threatening physical harm. Several publications have petitioned the court to reveal the names.

“Given the notoriety of this case and the extraordinary media attention it is receiving, it is reasonable to assume that the non-parent sureties will also face significant privacy and safety concerns if their identities are disclosed,” Bankman-Fried’s attorneys wrote.

FTX was one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges until early November when it faced a liquidity crisis, apparently due to missing funds tied to trading losses suffered by its sister company, Alameda Research. Both firms filed for bankruptcy soon thereafter.

Bankman-Fried has been charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy by the U.S. Department of Justice, along with charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He pleaded not guilty to the DoJ charges earlier this month.

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