The founder and former CEO of the now-defunct FTX exchange was apprehended after the abrupt collapse of his crypto empire, which had a devastating impact on the whole market. He was subsequently granted a huge $250 million bail with guarantors and is currently under house arrest.
His parents were guarantors of this bond, but the identities of the other two were kept secret. However, that may soon change as US District Judge Lewis Kaplan reportedly ordered that information about these people can be made public next month.
According to the filing from January 30, Kaplan sanctioned the joint request from eight media outlets to reveal the identities of the two people “for the limited purpose of asserting the public’s claimed right of access.” But he pointed out that neither side of the argument had very much support.
Sureties’ identity disclosure is still up for debate
The unsealing of the guarantors’ names is also not guaranteed, as the judge has given Bankman-Fried’s legal counsel until February 7 to dispute the ruling.
The judge noted that an appeal is possible and added that he would extend the deadline to February 14 in order to allow for the submission of an application for an additional stay “if a notice of appeal from this order is filed by then.”
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, on the other hand, have continued to argue that their identities should be kept hidden because his parents have already faced criticism and the FTX founder and those associated with him face serious security risks.
In his decision, Kaplan stated that although he has no reason to believe that threats have taken place, he has not yet seen proof to that effect. However, this does not imply that the non-parental sureties would also face threats and harassment.
In addition, according to Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s parents came under close scrutiny because of their close bond with him and the fact that his father worked at FTX for a year prior to the exchange’s demise.
Judge Lewis Kaplan said,
“Thus, the defendant’s claim that the non-parental sureties would face similar intrusions is speculative and only entitled to modest weight.”
Besides, he believes that the information sought—the names of the bail guarantees—is traditionally meant to be public information.
Although the identities of the sureties are still unknown, the majority of the community assumed it was Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank, probably because he has continued to publicly support SBF despite the disaster.
As the time approaches when the identities will be revealed, some users speculate that O’Leary might be one of them despite suffering a $15 million loss.