Recently, federal prosecutors requested to change the bail terms of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former chief executive officer of FTX, in order to avoid further alleged attempts to influence testimony.
Court documents filed Jan. 27 revealed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan to ban Bankman-Fried from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX or Alameda.
Prosecutors requested this relief after alleging that Bankman-Fried contacted Ryne Miller, current general counsel of FTX US, via Signal and email on January 15, attempting to “influence” Miller’s testimony. The document cited:
“I’d really like to reconnect and see if there’s a way we can have a constructive relationship, use each other as a resource when possible, or at least look into things with each other.”
Prosecutors also requested that Bankman-Fried be prohibited the use of encrypted communication applications.
“Defendant must not use any encrypted or ephemeral calling or messaging applications, including but not limited to Signal.”
The filing also argues that Bankman-Fried’s use of Signal is consistent with “one version” of using the application for obstructive purposes.
As of December 2022, Bankman-Fried had denied being involved in or aware of a “Wirefraud” group chat on Signal, hours before his arrest by Bahamian police.
The group chat reportedly included members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, including FTX cofounder Zixiao “Gary” Wang, FTX engineer Nishad Singh and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, who reportedly used the group for send classified information about FTX and Alameda in the run-up to the crash.
This comes after lawyers representing FTX in the bankruptcy proceedings argued on Jan. 26 that close relatives of Bankman-Fried should be questioned about any financial benefits they may have obtained from the exchange.
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