Stanford University students are reportedly “obsessed” with the ritzy mansion where disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is currently under house arrest.
Bankman-Fried is confined to his parents’ $4 million home on the edge of Stanford’s campus while awaiting trial for allegedly bilking FTX customers out of billions of dollars.
Both of his parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, are longtime professors at Stanford’s law school.
Located near student housing and the homes of other faculty members, the Bankman-Fried family estate “has become an unofficial campus landmark,” the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
Stanford has closed off roads near the house as a security measure.
One Stanford student admitted to using wire cutters to steal a “path closed” sign located near the barriers set up to prevent access to Bankman-Fried’s home, according to the outlet.
The anonymous student said they managed to withdraw about $80,000 in cryptocurrency from FTX just before the platform imploded.
Another attendee, Tyler Benster, a 31-year-old neuroscience PhD student and cryptocurrency investor, told the Washington Post that he recently pointed out the Bankman-Fried house while walking on campus with a date.
“People spend years and years of their life working hard and preparing to then have the privilege of being here, using the resources, being in the heart of Silicon Valley,” Benster said. “And the idea that someone could end up sort of living on campus due to a massive uncovered fraud is fairly ironic.”
An unnamed sophomore said there was a “a weird voyeurism” on campus regarding the house and Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace. She said she turned down an invitation from friends to go see the house.
“There’s a perverse desire to know what could have been, or knowing what you could have been,” the student said.
The Post has reached out to representatives for Bankman-Fried and Stanford University for comment.
In a January court filing, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said a car had driven into a metal barricade set up outside the home as a security precaution.
The filing said three men exited the car and told a security guard, “You won’t be able to keep us out,” before driving away.
Bankman-Fried’s parents put up their home as collateral to help secure his record $250 million bail package. If the 30-year-old does not comply with the terms of his bail, his parents could lose the property.
In February, court filings revealed that two other individuals with close ties to Stanford University had served as guarantors on the bail package.
The guarantors were identified as Larry Kramer, the dean emeritus of Stanford Law School, and Andreas Paepcke, a senior research scientist and computer science expert at the school.
Kramer signed a $500,000 bond, while Paepcke put up $200,000. The bonds represent the amount of money that Kramer and Paepcke would owe if Bankman-Fried does not return to court as mandated.
“My actions are in my personal capacity, and I have no business dealings or interest in this matter other than to help our loyal and steadfast friends,” Kramer said in a statement at the time. “Nor do I have any comment or position regarding the substance of the legal matter itself, which is what the trial will be for.”
Some of Bankman-Fried’s actions while under house arrest have drawn scrutiny.
Last month, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan applied new bail restrictions after the court was alerted that Bankman-Fried had used a VPN to access the internet. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers claimed he had used the VPN to watch the Super Bowl.
In a letter to the court last Friday, prosecutors asked that Bankman-Fried be limited to use of a flip phone that lacks internet access while on bail.