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Stanford Law Professor, Researcher Co-signed Bankman-Fried’s Bond -court Records

Former FTX Chief Executive Sam Bankman-Fried, who faces fraud charges over the collapse of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange, leaves federal court in New York City, U.S., February 9, 2023.
Reuters

A former dean of Stanford’s law school and a computer science researcher at the university co-signed indicted FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bond, according to court records made public on Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges over the collapse of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. He has been out on $250 million bond co-signed by his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, who pledged their Palo Alto, California, home as collateral for his return to court.

His parents are both professors at Stanford Law School. The names of two other sureties had been redacted until Wednesday, when U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered their identities be made public.

On Jan. 25, an individual named Larry Kramer signed a $500,000 bond to ensure Bankman-Fried’s return to court, and an individual named Andreas Paepcke signed a $200,000 bond, the newly-unredacted records showed.

According to Stanford’s website, Kramer is a former dean of the law school while Paepcke is a computer science researcher. Paepcke did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Kramer could not immediately be reached for comment.

The bond represents the amount of money Kramer and Paepcke would be liable to pay if Bankman-Fried does not return to court. He is scheduled to go on trial in October.

Kaplan last month ruled in favor of several media outlets including Reuters which argued that the two names should be made public, but put his ruling on hold pending an expected appeal.

Bankman-Fried said he would be appealing that decision last week, but did not ask the appeals court for an additional delay by Tuesday evening as required, Kaplan wrote in explaining his decision to publish versions of the bond documents with the sureties’ names visible to the public.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team decided not to pursue the appeal, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have said the parents had been harassed and received physical threats since FTX’s collapse and bankruptcy in November, and there was “serious cause for concern” the other guarantors might suffer similar treatment.

The group of media outlets, which also included the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Dow Jones, argued that the public right to know the identity of Bankman-Fried’s guarantors outweighed their privacy and safety rights.

Bankman-Fried rode a boom in the values of bitcoin and other digital assets to become a billionaire several times over and an influential U.S. political donor. But his fortune vanished after FTX collapsed amid a flurry of customer withdrawals.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan say Bankman-Fried diverted FTX customer funds to Alameda Research, his hedge fund. Bankman-Fried has acknowledged not devoting enough effort to risk management, but says he did not steal any funds.