Bankrupt FTX exchange has accused Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents of improperly diverting millions through alleged manipulation.
The complaint filed on Sept. 18 accuses Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, both professors at Stanford Law School, of exploiting their positions within the company to amass wealth illicitly, actions that allegedly played a significant role in the company’s downfall.
The plaintiffs claim that contrary to SBF’s earlier statements, his parents were deeply involved in the business operations since its inception.
SBF’s parents alleged misuse of authority
The lawsuit documents reveal that Joseph Bankman held significant sway in the decision-making processes at FTX, functioning as a “de facto officer.” His involvement supposedly included a stint in executive roles within the company’s management team.
Meanwhile, Barbara Fried, who co-founded the political action committee Mind the Gap (MTG), is accused of being a major influence in directing the company’s political donations, often urging substantial contributions to MTG.
The parents allegedly extracted substantial unearned benefits from the FTX Group, including receiving a lavish $10 million cash gift and acquiring a $16.4 million luxury property in The Bahamas. The lawsuit also accuses Joseph Bankman of utilizing company funds for personal expenses such as private jet charters and high-end hotel stays.
The plaintiffs argue that the accused either were fully aware or turned a blind eye to the fact that their son was allegedly facilitating a fraudulent scheme that favored their personal and charitable interests at the cost of the debtors. They have urged the court to hold the defendants responsible for their alleged misconduct and to facilitate the recovery of assets for the debtors’ creditors.
“Award plaintiffs punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial resulting from defendants’ conscious, willful, wanton, and malicious conduct, which exhibits a reckless disregard for the interests of plaintiffs and their creditors.”
Complaint from FTX
SBF facing legal roadblocks as trial approaches
This lawsuit is a precursor to the already highly publicized fraud trial scheduled for SBF on Oct. 3. SBF has been ensnared in a series of legal tangles with prosecutors, with multiple demands from his end being rejected by the court.
On Sept. 17, U.S. prosecutors rejected SBF’s proposed voir dire process for jury selection, criticizing it as excessively time-consuming due to the inclusion of media-influenced questions.
The prosecutors have urged the court to employ more neutral questions during the selection process.