Lawyers representing FTX in bankruptcy court have reportedly argued that former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s immediate family should face questioning regarding their personal wealth.
According to a Jan. 26 report from Bloomberg, FTX’s lawyers requested Judge John Dorsey in the District of Delaware allow them to question Joseph Bankman, Barbara Fried and Gabriel Bankman-Fried — the father, mother and brother of SBF, respectively — under oath about any financial benefits they may have received from the exchange. Other FTX executives could reportedly be subject to the same line of questioning in an effort to track down assets tied to the bankrupt crypto exchange.
Joseph Bankman, a law professor at Stanford Law School, who canceled at least one of his classes amid the FTX controversy, reportedly acted as a tax adviser to the exchange’s employees and made recommendations regarding hiring the company’s legal team. Together with his wife, Barbara Fried — also a professor of law at Stanford — Bankman helped guarantee SBF’s $250-million bail with equity from their California home.
In 2020, Bankman-Fried’s brother, Gabriel, helped found Guarding Against Pandemics, an advocacy group aimed at supporting legislation to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19. Some of SBF’s funds went directly to the group, which supported federal lawmakers, and he and his brother also personally contributed to certain campaigns.
It’s unclear whether questioning the family members, should Judge Dorsey approve issuing subpoenas, would result in “hidden” funds associated with FTX being discovered by investigators. Joseph Bankman has already reportedly hired an attorney amid his son’s criminal case, but testimony here would fall under FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings.
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Sam Bankman-Fried faces eight criminal counts, including wire fraud and violations of campaign finance laws. Since his arraignment in the United States upon being extradited from the Bahamas, SBF has largely been confined to his parents’ home, with his trial scheduled to begin in October.