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Sam Bankman-Fried’s father dragged his mother into an FTX US salary dispute


Joseph Bankman, the father of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), complained to his son about the salary he was receiving during his employment at FTX US, turning the issue into a family matter.

In a Sept. 18 filing in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, FTX debtors filed a complaint against Bankman and Barbara Fried, alleging SBF’s parents misappropriated millions of dollars through their involvement in the exchange’s business. According to court documents, Bankman’s contract with FTX US should have provided a $200,000 annual salary following a leave of absence from the Stanford Law School in December 2021.

However, Bankman seemed to express ignorance about the terms of the contract, claiming to both FTX US and his son that he was expecting a $1 million annual salary. The complaint states that Bankman was “[p]utting Barbara on this”, suggesting that SBF’s mother may have been able to persuade her son to follow through with the salary change.

According to the complaint, “Bankman’s influence paid off”, with SBF later providing his parents $10 million from Alameda, a $16.4 million property in The Bahamas funded by FTX Trading, the ability to expense roughly $90,000 to FTX Trading in the island nation, and options to purchase company stock. Cointelegraph reached out to the legal team representing Bankman and Fried, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried says, ‘I did what I thought was right,’ in leaked docs: Report

The legal action brought by the debtors was the latest in the bankruptcy case involving FTX and many of its subsidiaries, filed in November 2022. Bankman-Fried also faces 12 criminal charges, to be spread across two trials starting in October 2023 and March 2024.

Since a federal judge revoked his bail in August, Bankman-Fried has been largely confined to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn before the start of his October trial. On Sept. 19, a three-judge panel heard an appeal from SBF’s legal team requesting the former FTX CEO be released from jail in order to prepare for trial, citing the lack of Internet access and First Amendment issues.

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