In yet another surprising twist in the ongoing scandal surrounding the cryptocurrency exchange FTX's bankruptcy, the company's lawyers have filed a lawsuit accusing Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, the parents of founder Sam Bankman-Fried, of abusing their influence over their son to divert millions of dollars from the company's coffers. The lawsuit details how Sam Bankman-Fried's father was deeply dissatisfied with his annual salary of $200,000 (approximately R$ 1 million at current exchange rates), claiming it was only one-fifth of what he believed he deserved.
According to the Business Insider portal, Bankman expressed his dissatisfaction not only to FTX employees but also to his own son through emails. Bankman alleged to the company's US administration head that he was receiving $16,667 (R$ 85,500) per month when, in reality, his correct salary should have been $1 million per year (R$ 5 million).
In response to this, Bankman-Fried wrote, "Wow, Sam, I don't know what to say here. This is the first time I've heard of the $200,000 per year salary." FTX's lawyers claim that the father vigorously pressured his son to increase his earnings.
The lawyers allege that Bankman's influence didn't only benefit himself but also Barbara Fried. According to them, in just two weeks, Bankman-Fried gifted his parents a total of $10 million (R$ 50.1 million) from funds associated with Alameda Ltd., a related company.
Furthermore, the lawsuit asserts that within a mere three months, the founder of FTX transferred the deed to a $16.4 million (R$ 82.2 million) property in the Bahamas to his parents, paid for with funds from the company.
Legal documents also claim that the couple spent over $90,000 (R$ 451,000) of FTX's funds on improvements to their residence and donated an astonishing $5.5 million (R$ 27.6 million) to Stanford University in an effort to "obtain favors and enrich their employer at the expense of the FTX Group."
In response to the accusations, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried's lawyers, Sean Hecker and Michael Tremonte, accused FTX of attempting to "intimidate" the couple and undermine the legal process just days before their son's trial.
"This is a dangerous attempt to intimidate Joe and Barbara and undermine the jury process just days before their son's trial. These allegations are completely false," they stated.
It's worth noting that the FTX group, which includes Alameda Research, filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, revealing a scandal involving the improper use of customer funds to keep Alameda Research operational. Since then, Sam Bankman-Fried has faced eight criminal charges, pleaded not guilty, and was arrested in January of this year. His trial for federal fraud charges is scheduled to begin on October 3rd.