Joseph Bankman

MONEY & BUSINESS: Sam Bankman-Fried’s father Joseph Bankman lawyers up as FTX probe progresses

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Stanford law professor Joseph Bankman has reportedly lawyered up as the feds move forward with their probe into his disgraced son Sam Bankman-Fried’s doomed cryptocurrency empire.

Bankman, who purportedly leveraged his connections and legal expertise to advise his son on running FTX, has hired Sean Hecker of Kaplan Hecker and Fink LLP to represent him, according to Reuters.

Hecker’s bio on the firm’s website describes him as “an experienced trial lawyer whose practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and regulatory compliance.”

Bankman has not been charged with a crime or informed he’s under federal investigation, a source familiar with the situation told The Post.

However, his work at FTX has come under intense scrutiny since the platform declared bankruptcy.

While testifying on Capitol Hill last month, current FTX CEO John Ray confirmed that his team was “investigating” the role that Bankman and his wife, fellow Stanford law professor and Democratic operative Barbara Fried, played in the platform’s collapse.

Ray told lawmakers Bankman had given “legal advice” to his son at FTX and received cash payments from the company.

Joseph Bankman was a key adviser at FTX.
Stanford University

“I don’t know if he actually had ‘employee’ status, but he certainly received payments, the family did receive payments,” Ray said.

Bankman was known to regularly accompany his son to meetings on Capitol Hill as the FTX founder sought to curry favor with lawmakers.


Here’s the latest coverage on the collapse of crypto giant FTX


The law professor also helped to guide the company’s philanthropic efforts and introduced his son to at least one influential investor, Orlando Bravo of the investment giant Thoma Bravo.

Barbara Fried
Barbara Fried is a well-known Democratic fundraiser.
Stanford University

A source told Reuters that Bankman had “personally recruited” Daniel Friedberg, who served as FTX’s chief regulatory officer. Friedberg has drawn intense scrutiny since The Post and other outlets reported on his ties to the infamous UltimateBet online poker cheating scandal.

After FTX’s bankruptcy, Friedberg reportedly began cooperating with the feds on their investigation into Bankman-Fried.

SBF home
SBF has been under house arrest at his parents’ home.

The Post has reached out to Hecker and a representative of Bankman-Fried’s parents for comment.

Fried was not on FTX’s payroll. However, Bankman-Fried made political contributions to the Democratic advocacy network that Fried oversaw.

Barbara Fried
Barbara Fried is also a law professor.
Getty Images

Bankman-Fried’s parents also acquired a $16.4 million beachfront “vacation home” in the Bahamas that was purchased using FTX funds, according to records obtained by Reuters. The parents say they plan to return the property.

The feds have accused Bankman-Fried of perpetrating one of the biggest frauds in US history by bilking FTX customers out of billions of dollars.

SBF
SBF faces 115 years in prison.
AFP via Getty Images

Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried used the funds to fund a lavish lifestyle that included real estate and venture capital investments as well as tens of millions of dollars in political donations. He is also accused of funneling FTX customer funds to prop up risky bets at his cryptocurrency hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried is under house arrest at his parents’ $4 million home in Palo Alto, Calif. Bankman and Fried secured his release on $250 million bond by putting up their house as collateral.



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