News media sources who want to expose the mysterious people who bailed FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried out of jail are one step closer to getting their big story after a US judge ruled in their favor to get information that someone is trying to keep hidden.
News of the ruling comes at the same time there is an elevated understanding of the corrupt nature of Bankman-Fried’s work with his failed cryptocurrency agency, according to Independent Media:
“A FILING IN FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings is shedding light on the true extent of the crypto-trading powerhouse’s influence-peddling operation. Last week, FTX filed its creditor matrix, a document that lists former vendors and investors to the company,” the Intercept reported, adding:
“The list includes nearly a dozen public relations experts — specialists who generate positive spin in the media on behalf of clients — as well as political consultants, think tanks, and trade groups.
Sometimes, the money went directly to political operations; Majority Forward, a dark-money group designed to elect Senate Democrats, received cash. In some cases, the hired guns, such as PR firms, were paid directly for their services. In others, the groups that received donations maintain that they are independent, but had interests aligned with FTX.
The filing, for instance, listed a donation to the Center for a New American Security, a prominent national security-focused think tank in Washington, D.C., that has worked to shape crypto regulations.”
The move by the judge to grant the news media request to find out who bailed the FTX kid out of prison, comes after previously keeping the names redacted.
SBF’s attorney tried to keep the names anonymous after the donors signed a $500,000 and $200,000 bond to spring him from jail.
SBF’s parents also co-signed a $250 million bond for their indicted son.
The judge ruled the names should be released by February 7th, acknowledging that his ruling is likely to be appealed.
Breitbart.com reported with more details:
A U.S. judge said on Monday that the names of the two people who bailed disgraced FTX CEO and Democrat super donor Sam Bankman-Fried out of jail should be made public. The move comes after Bankman-Fried’s lawyers tried to keep the names of those who paid his bail anonymous.
While U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled in favor of disclosing the names, he has put his ruling on hold pending an expected appeal, according to a report by Reuters.
The judge said that the public’s “weak” right to know who bailed the disgraced cryptocurrency exchange founder out of jail outweighed Bankman-Fried’s arguments for confidentiality, as well as the claim that the safety of his guarantors would be in jeopardy.
Judge Kaplan also reportedly said that the names will be confidential until at least February 7, as “the question presented here is novel and an appeal is likely.”
The two people who helped former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with his $250 million bail bond could have their identities revealed as soon as this month.
According to the Jan. 30 filing, Kaplan granted the joint petition from eight media outlets to unseal the names of the two individuals, “for the limited purpose of asserting the public’s claimed right of access” to the identities. He noted, however, that there was not much weight in favor of either side of the argument.
Bankman-Fried was released from custody in December after two unknown people signed on as sureties for the $250 million bond along with Bankman-Fried’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.
Eight major media companies — including Bloomberg, the Financial Times and Reuters — demanded public disclosure of the two individuals responsible for guaranteeing the bond in a Jan. 12 letter addressed to District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan.
Attorneys from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, acting on behalf of the media giants, insist that “the public’s right to know Bankman-Fried’s guarantors outweighed their privacy and safety rights.”
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have, however, continued to argue that their identities should be kept a secret, as his parents have already been the subject of threats and the FTX founder and those linked to him face serious security risks.
In his ruling, Kaplan said he has “no reason” to doubt threats had occurred but was yet to see “evidence to that effect,” adding:
“But it does not follow that the non-parental sureties would face similar threats and harassment.”
Kaplan further argued that Bankman-Fried’s parents faced intense scrutiny due to their close relationship with their son, and his father’s employment at FTX for a year prior to the exchange’s collapse.
“Thus, the defendant’s claim that the non-parental sureties would face similar intrusions is speculative and only entitled to modest weight,” he said.
“Moreover, the information sought, ie, the names of the bail sureties, traditionally is public information,” Kaplan added.
In a Jan. 19 court filing, the lawyers for the former FTX CEO claimed that three men drove a car into the metal barricade outside Bankman-Fried’s parents’ home, where he is under house arrest.
Conveniently for the drama of the story, the unidentified trio was reportedly able to drive away before security guards could record the car’s license plate.