Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Are Being Paid With Multi-Million Dollar ‘Gift’ Funds

Lavina Daryanani

Charges against Sam Bankman-Fried have been piling up lately. Just a day back, he was charged with bribing a Chinese official. In fact, as reported earlier today, the FTX founder now has a total of 13 criminal counts and faces more than a century behind bars if convicted. Bankman-Fried’s legal team has been upfront all this while. Right from submitting motions to bargaining bail condition deals, the defense has been checking the boxes one by one.

Now, a recent report from Forbes unveiled that Bankman-Fried’s legal defense is allegedly being paid with the “multi-million dollar gift” he gave his father with money borrowed from FTX’s sister company, Alameda Research.

Two unnamed sources with operational knowledge of FTX and Alameda confirmed to Forbes that Bankman-Fried gave “a large monetary gift” to his father Joseph Bankman. The transaction was made in 2021, when Bankman-Fried was the CEO of FTX.

Also Read: How Many Years Will Sam Bankman-Fried Stay Behind Bars if Found Guilty?

Getting into the details of the “gift”

A source close to Bankman-Fried further revealed that Bankman-Fried’s defense costs are “likely in the single-digit-millions range.” However, Forbes was not able to confirm how much Bankman-Fried currently owes in legal fees. Furthermore, Forbes reported,

Two additional sources familiar with the family told Forbes that Bankman once begged his son to put away savings, but Bankman-Fried reportedly declined.

Post receiving funds from Alameda, Bankman-Fried sent them to his father. Moreover, he allegedly went on to hand out the maximum amount one is allowed to gift someone. Specifically, Forbes’ report noted,

After receiving at least $10 million from Alameda, Bankman-Fried sent the funds to Bankman using his lifetime estate and gift tax exemption—essentially a tax-free gift. He contributed the maximum amount someone is allowed to give in their lifetime, which would have been $11.7 million that year, these sources told Forbes.

Here it is worth mentioning that Bankman-Fried’s father was involved with the son’s companies. As Watcher Guru reported he offered tax advice to the exchange’s employees. Additionally, he also assisted in the legal team recruitment process. However, a few weeks back, Bankman and his wife received subpoenas from FTX attorneys. They were asked for personal financial statements and records of assets transferred to them by FTX companies or employees.

Also Read – FTX: Is Sam Bankman-Fried’s $250M Bond A ‘Joke’?