The guarantors behind Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF)’s $250 million bail package have been revealed after news organizations gained court approval to unseal their names in early January.
Both individuals are high-ranking academics at Stanford, where the disgraced CEO’s parents are law professors.
Who Granted SBF Bail?
The signatories’ names are Larry Kramer and Andreas Paepcke – a former Stanford law school dean and computer scientist, respectively.
Kramer is president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a charitable organization with $15 billion in assets, per his online biography on Stanford Law’s website. He also serves on the boards of numerous non-profits, such as the National Constitution Center, Independent Sector, and the ClimateWorks Foundation.
Meanwhile, Paepcke “uses data analytics to create tools” focused on “ user interfaces and systems for teaching and learning” according to his own Stanford bio. His hobbies include “piano studies, worrying and poetry.”
Kramer signed a surety for a $500,000 bond, while Paepcke signed a $200,000 bond. Each joins Bankman Fried’s parents in allowing Bankman-Fried to stay at home with his parents close to the university, rather than staying in jail.
The parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, were required in December to post equity in their home as partial satisfaction of the bail conditions. The home has an estimated worth of $4 million but is technically owned by the university.
Together, the four scholars’ pledges still pale next to the $250 million price tag attached to the bail package – which prosecutors labeled the “largest-ever pretrial bond.” In reality, the bond is merely a “personal recognizance bond” containing Bankman-Fried’s and his parents’ solemn promise to pay the fine if he doesn’t show up for trial when asked.
A Friend of the Parents
In a statement received by CNBC correspondent Eamon Javers, Kramer said that he and his wife have been “close friends” with SBF’s parents since the mid-1990s. He said he felt inclined to help the couple, given that they supported his own family over the past two years as it faced a “harrowing battle with cancer.”
Kramer had no comments regarding the actual legalities of SBF’s case.
“My actions are in my personal capacity, and I have no business dealings or interest in this matter other than to help our loyal and steadfast friends…” he said.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had argued that Kramer and Paepcke’s identities should remain hidden to protect them from public and media harassment. However, the judge determined that their signing the bonds showed a voluntary willingness to enter a high-profile public case, limiting their claims to privacy.
SBF has pled not guilty after being charged with multiple counts of fraud, involving the misappropriation of FTX user assets for trading at its sister company, Alameda Research. He’s since tried to communicate with those involved in the FTX bankruptcy process but faces certain legal restrictions on doing so.