According to a Jan. 26 report from Bloomberg, FTX's lawyers requested Judge John Dorsey in the District of Delaware to allow them to question Joseph Bankman, Barbara Fried, and Gabriel Bankman-Fried - SBF's father, mother, and brother, respectively - under oath about any financial benefits they may have received from FTX. Other FTX executives could also be subject to the same line of questioning to track down assets tied to the bankrupt crypto exchange.
Bankman-Fried's Family Members Involved in FTX's Operations
Joseph Bankman, a law professor at Stanford Law School, reportedly acted as a tax adviser to the exchange's employees and recommended hiring the company's legal team. Together with his wife, Barbara Fried, 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 to support 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.
Unclear if Questioning Family Members Will Result in Discovery of Hidden Funds
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 reportedly hired an attorney amid his son's criminal case, but testimony here would fall under FTX's bankruptcy proceedings.
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 deported from the Bahamas, SBF has largely been confined to his parent's home, with his trial scheduled to begin in October.