Sam Bankman-Fried’s Prosecutors Ask Judge to Tighten Bail Conditions | Hazard Tech

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan mentioned on Friday that disgraced cryptocurrency government Sam Bankman-Fried had tried to contact a possible witness in his legal case, and requested a decide to impose new bail situations that restrict his capacity to speak with former colleagues.

In a courtroom submitting, the US lawyer’s workplace for the Southern District of New York mentioned Bankman-Fried despatched messages by way of e mail and the encrypted messaging app Sign this month to the overall counsel of FTX’s US department, the cryptocurrency alternate he based. . Mr. Bankman-Fried, 30, has been charged with fraud, cash laundering and marketing campaign finance violations associated to the FTX implosion final yr.

The communication was “suggestive of an effort to affect the potential testimony of Witness-1,” the submitting mentioned. “That is notably regarding on condition that the defendant is aware of that Witness-1 has info that may are likely to incriminate the defendant.”

Prosecutors have requested Choose Lewis A. Kaplan, who’s overseeing Mr. Bankman-Fried’s case, to bar the businessman from contacting present and former FTX staff or utilizing Sign or different encrypted apps to speak.

A Bankman-Fried spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Bankman-Fried constructed FTX into one of many largest cryptocurrency exchanges on the earth earlier than the corporate filed for chapter in November. He was arrested in December at his house within the Bahamas, the place he had his FTX headquarters, and later extradited to the USA to face legal costs. Choose Kaplan granted him bail underneath very restrictive situations, confining him to his dad and mom’ house close to the Stanford College campus in northern California.

Mr. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not responsible to the fees towards him.

Since his house confinement, Mr Bankman-Fried has entertained guests, together with creator Michael Lewis, who’s writing a guide about him. He additionally started mounting a protection, writing Substack posts detailing his model of the occasions main as much as FTX’s collapse.

Based on Friday’s submitting, Mr. Bankman-Fried wrote to FTX US’s basic counsel on January 15 and mentioned that he would “actually like to reconnect with us and see if there’s a means for us to have a constructive relationship, utilizing one another as a way”. the place doable, or not less than look at issues towards one another.

Prosecutors mentioned the witness “has firsthand data of the defendant’s conduct throughout the accused conspiracies” and engaged in communications on Sign and the Slack messaging system with a small group of insiders the month FTX collapsed. Mr. Bankman-Fried additionally communicated with different present and former FTX staff, in keeping with the doc.

The doc doesn’t determine the witness by identify. The overall counsel for FTX US is Ryne Miller, in keeping with his LinkedIn web page.

For a lot of his tenure at FTX, Mr. Bankman-Fried relied on Sign, which supplies folks the choice to mechanically delete messages. Based on prosecutors, he additionally ordered staff of FTX and Alameda Analysis, a hedge fund he based, to set their communications to mechanically disappear after 30 days or much less.

“The automated elimination of Slack and Sign communications from FTX and Alameda has prevented the federal government investigation,” the submitting reads. “Potential witnesses have described related and incriminating conversations with the defendant that occurred on Slack and Sign which have since been mechanically deleted.”

Within the courtroom submitting, prosecutors mentioned Bankman-Fried’s use of Sign may impede their efforts to find out whether or not they tried to contact extra potential witnesses throughout their confinement.

“The proposed bail situations together would extra successfully stop the defendant from obstructing justice,” the submitting says.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Prosecutors Ask Judge to Tighten Bail Conditions