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Sam Bankman

Sep 18, 2023Sep 18, 2023

The house arrest of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has drawn significant attention from surrounding residents — namely Stanford students.

The fallen executive is currently out on a $250 million bond and awaiting trial at his parents' home on Stanford's campus, where they both work as law professors. According to the Washington Post, the house has become a bit of a spectacle, as students walk by in hopes of catching a glimpse of Bankman-Fried or use his presence as the punchline of jokes and inspiration for themed parties.

The Post spoke to several students about Bankman-Fried's presence on campus, which has recently become littered with party fliers emblazoned with Bankman-Fried's face. Some students have started equating his parents' home with other notable landmarks on campus, biking or walking by the home on dates, according to the Post.

Others have allegedly turned to a variety of strategies to make Bankman-Fried feel unwelcome. Reports have emerged of the Stanford home being egged, according to the Post, and Bankman-Fried's lawyers claimed in January that a car drove into the barricade surrounding the home.

One student who spoke to the Post claimed to have stolen a "PATH CLOSED" sign in January from the fence around the home. The student said he took it to a crypto networking event, and has had it in his closet ever since.

While some may see Bankman-Fried's presence as an embarrassing situation for university, others told the Post that it isn't as bad as other scandals associated with the school.

"We already had Elizabeth Holmes … we've already dug the grave," Seraj Desai, a 24-year-old law student, told the Post. "If anything, if a white-collar criminal is found guilty, people will get more interested and … there's a fascination in how they did it. Stanford has a very strong reputation that won't be tainted, but it'll trend on Twitter."

Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford to start her company Theranos, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for fraud and other charges related to the failed medical technology company in November. She recently argued the start of her sentence should be delayed after she gave birth to her second child.

Bankman-Fried was released on bond late last year, and has had the conditions of his house arrest modified several times as prosecutors have alleged witness tampering and argued that the FTX founder should have his internet access severely limited.

Bankman-Fried's lawyers have claimed that he and his parents have received repeated threats since the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange and subsequent arrest last year.

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