Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried are both tenured Stanford law professors and live in California. They have been spotted at their son’s Manhattan trial, and feature prominently in the case.
In September, a lawsuit against Bankman and Fried claims the couple discussed with their son transferring a $10 million cash gift and a $16.4 million luxury property in the Bahamas to them, even as the company was on the verge of insolvency.
Despite Bankman-Fried’s assertions that his parents weren’t involved in “any of the relevant parts” of FTX, the lawsuit claims that his parents played a role from the beginning.
Bankman, a renowned tax attorney, repeatedly described FTX as a “family business,” the filing states.
It describes Bankman as having broad oversight of the company as early as 2018, both as an unofficial adviser and later as a paid employee.
The lawsuit also accuses Bankman of helping cover up fraud, including one instance in which he “failed to investigate … a whistleblower complaint that threatened to expose the FTX Group as a house of cards.”
Fried, an expert in legal ethics, never held a formal position within her son’s crypto empire, but the lawsuit claims she also played a role as an adviser, particularly when it came to Bankman-Fried’s copious political contributions. She described herself as her son’s “partner in crime of the noncriminal sort,” the lawsuit claims.
As a result of the lawsuit against Bankman and Fried, Stanford University has said it will be returning gifts it received from FTX “in their entirety.”