The FTX bankruptcy saga has ensnared members of Sam Bankman-Fried’s family—and at least 2 of them appear reluctant to cooperate

February 1, 2023, 11:30 AM UTC
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan Federal Court with mother, Barbara Fried, in the background.
David Dee Delgado—Getty Images

FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings have become a family affair.

Although the original focus of the FTX ordeal was on 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, who is facing criminal charges including fraud and conspiracy, as the bankruptcy proceedings have advanced they’ve entangled his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, as well as his brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried.

And according to a recent court filing, at least his mom and his brother are not jumping to cooperate with the company’s lawyers.

Last week, lawyers for FTX’s new management asked the judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy to issue subpoenas to Bankman-Fried along with his family members and business associates whose “missing information is critical to the Debtors’ and Committee’s recovery efforts,” according to the Jan. 25 court filing.

SBF hadn’t responded or voluntarily complied to give information to FTX’s lawyers for the bankruptcy proceedings as of the date of the filing.

Here’s a look at what we know about SBF’s family members and their potential roles in the FTX bankruptcy:

Joseph Bankman

Sam Bankman-Fried (right) sits next to his father Joseph Bankman.
David Dee Delgado—Getty Images

SBF’s father is a professor of law and business at Stanford University, and his bio on Stanford’s website describes him as “a ​​leading scholar in the field of tax law.” He got his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977, where FTX once had a 10-year naming rights deal for the football stadium. He got his law degree at Yale. He also has a degree in clinical psychology.

SBF told the New York Times in November that his parents “bore no responsibility” for the failure of FTX, but Bankman reportedly was once an FTX employee, who often traveled to the Bahamas, where the company was based.

The Jan. 25 court filing alleged that Bankman closely advised his son while he was running what was once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world. Citing the New York Times, the filing alleges that Bankman “was ‘deeply involved in FTX’ going so far as to ‘recruit its first lawyers,’ join ‘FTX staff in meetings on Capitol Hill,’ and provide FTX employees with advice on tax-related matters.”

According to the court filing, Bankman has been more cooperative than his other two family members. His counsel has said they expect to produce the FTX-related documents the company’s lawyers are seeking, according to the filing.

Barbara Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried’s mother Barbara Fried.
David Dee Delgado—Getty Images

SBF’s mother, Barbara Fried, is a professor emerita at Stanford who retired in September. She received her undergraduate, master’s, and law degrees from Harvard University.

She wasn’t a paid employee of FTX, but SBF contributed to programs recommended by her political advocacy network, Mind the Gap, which supported Democratic campaigns and interests. She resigned as chairwoman of the organization in November.

When Fried visited the Bahamas, she and her husband stayed at a $16.4 million house in a gated community that was in their names “despite understanding that the house was ‘intended to be the company’s property,’” according to the filing, which cited the Times

Unlike her husband, Fried has ignored all requests for cooperation and information sent by the company’s lawyers, according to the filing.

Gabriel Bankman-Fried

SBF’s younger brother, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, was described in the court filing as the disgraced CEO’s political adviser. 

The filing alleges that the younger Bankman-Fried, a former congressional staffer, “coordinated closely with his brother on political donations,” and that SBF helped fund his nonprofit, Guarding Against Pandemics.

The organization, according to FTX lawyers, “lobbied for and sought to influence legislation in Congress, endorsed candidates for public office, and advocated on pandemic-related issues.”

It also bought a multimillion-dollar property close to the Capitol, which lawyers for FTX allege was bought with “misappropriated customer funds.”

Starting in October 2021, SBF and his brother along with their associates donated at least $70 million to research projects, campaign donations, and other initiatives related to preventing the next pandemic, according to the Washington Post. Gabriel Bankman-Fried stepped down as director of the nonprofit last November.

According to the filing, FTX lawyers have not “received meaningful engagement or any response” to inquiries sent to the younger Bankman-Fried.

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