Sam Bankman-Fried’s dad was not happy about his $200,000 salary at now-bankrupt crypto firm FTX, a lawsuit claims.
In emails cited in the lawsuit, Joseph Bankman said he believed he would be paid $1 million by FTX.
He then looped in Barbara Fried, his partner and Bankman-Fried’s mom.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s father was unhappy that his $200,000 salary from the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX was just a fifth of what he believed he would be paid, according to a lawsuit filed by the exchange against SBF’s parents and seen by Insider.
The lawsuit, which accuses Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried of siphoning millions of dollars from FTX for their own benefits and causes, details a complaint made by Bankman to his son about his pay from FTX, and his subsequent involvement of Fried in the matter.
The exchange detailed in the lawsuit between the founder and his dad took place in January 2022.
In emails, Bankman told the company’s US head of administration that he was only getting $16,667 a month from the company when he was “supposed to be getting $1M/yr, starting in December. So that would be a bit more than $80,000 a month, gross,” per the lawsuit.
He then took his complaints to his son, the company’s cofounder and CEO, writing in an email: “Gee, Sam I don’t know what to say here. This is the first [I] have heard of the 200K a year salary! Putting Barbara on this.”
FTX’s lawyers then wrote that: “In other words, Bankman lobbied his son to massively increase his own salary.”
“Bankman’s influence paid off, not only for him but for Fried too,” the lawyers continued.
“Within two weeks, Bankman-Fried gifted Bankman and Fried together $10 million in funds originating from Alameda Ltd.”
“Within three months, Bankman-Fried caused the couple to be deeded a $16.4 million property in The Bahamas paid for with funds ultimately provided by FTX Trading. Bankman and Fried enjoyed the benefits of more than $90,000 in expenses, paid for by FTX Trading, for their Bahamas residence.”
The lawsuit also claims that Bankman donated $5.5 million to Stanford University in an effort to “curry favor with and enrich his employer at the FTX Group’s expense.”
Bankman and Fried’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, sent outside regular US working hours.
In a statement to crypto publication The Block, attorneys Sean Heckler and Michael Tremonte accused FTX of attempting to “intimidate” Bankman and Fried.
“This is a dangerous attempt to intimidate Joe and Barbara and undermine the jury process just days before their child’s trial begins. These claims are completely false,” they said.
FTX group and Bankman-Fried’s trading firm Alameda Research filed for bankruptcy in November 2022 with the founder stepping down from his role as CEO. The company’s collapse revealed that Bankman-Fried had used significant chunks of FTX customers’ funds to keep Alameda Research afloat.
He has since pleaded not guilty to eight criminal charges including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and is currently residing in a notorious Brooklyn jail where Ghislaine Maxwell was also held.
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