Sam Bankman-Fried's dad helped market FTX's in-house cryptocurrency and became a key legal advisor, report says

Sam Bankman-Fried's dad helped market FTX's in-house cryptocurrency and became a key legal advisor, report says
Sam Bankman-Fried and his father, Joe Bankman.Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
  • Sam Bankman-Fried's dad has been funding his son's legal defense with a $10 million gift, lawyers say.
  • But Joe Bankman has also been closely involved with FTX's operations, Bloomberg reports.

Sam Bankman-Fried's dad helped advise FTX, including for the controversial cryptocurrency that led to its downfall, Bloomberg reported.

Joe Bankman, a law professor at Stanford, has been funding his son's legal defense after SBF gifted him $10 million from company funds, according to a complaint filed by the company.

And a $16.4 million home in the Bahamas was registered under Bankman-Fried's parents' name, although the FTX founder said it was intended for company staff.

These occurrences have garnered him more attention, but Bankman also appears to have been more closely involved with FTX operations than was previously known.

This largely began when he made a cameo in FTX's Super Bowl ad with Larry David, dressed as a founding father in a powdered wig. Bankman became an employee at his son's company shortly afterwards, per Bloomberg.


Former staff from Alameda, FTX's sister hedge-fund, told Bloomberg that Bankman also helped draft early legal documents.

And invoices from the company's law firm list him as an attendee in meetings, showing he he was also involved in developing marketing materials for the crypto exchange's own currency, FTT, Bloomberg reported.

That's especially interesting because FTT played a major role in the crypto exchange's collapse. When CoinDesk reported on a leaked balance sheet last November, it showed that much of Alameda's $14.6 billion of assets were actually made up of the crypto invented by FTX.

Nine days later — after customers rushed to withdraw their deposits and the company couldn't cover demand, partially due to FTX executives' lavish spending — it filed for bankruptcy.

One former staffer also told Bloomberg that Bankman-Fried appeared to frequently consult his father. When there was any legal suggestion from an employee, SBF would say he needed to "call Joe" first, the person said.


Bankman did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, sent outside US working hours.