On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan placed a temporary restraining order against Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, preventing him from communicating with current or former employees of the cryptocurrency exchange or his Alameda Research hedge fund. Bankman-Fried has also been barred from using any sort of encrypted messaging tools such as Signal.
SBF Barred From Apps & Contacts
After the defendant communicated with a former coworker using Signal a few weeks ago, federal prosecutors in New York asked a court to impose new bail conditions on the 30-year-old man who is facing fraud charges over the collapse of the FTX empire. The charges stem from the fact that the defendant is accused of causing the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, leading to a number of bankruptcies by related companies and a complete bloodbath in the crypto market.
Additionally, on January 2, Bankman-Fried sent an email to John J. Ray III, his replacement as chief executive officer of FTX, requesting that the two of them meet in person. John Ray, who took over as the new CEO after Bankman-Fried resigned, is currently focusing on the company’s reorganization while working to recover funds that were lost by the firm’s depositors.
SBF Trying To Tamper Evidence?
The attorneys for Bankman-Fried are arguing against the new bail conditions, claiming that their client’s Signal message to FTX’s US general counsel on January 15 was an innocent attempt to offer assistance in the ongoing bankruptcy process. However, the general counsel has also been mentioned as a witness in government court files, and prosecutors contended that Bankman-Fried could be attempting to influence that person’s testimony in the case. Even though Ryne Miller’s identity as FTX’s US general counsel was not disclosed in the court documents, he has continued to serve in that capacity following the company’s bankruptcy filing in November.
While on the topic of SBF’s reported message to Ryne, the text was quoted to be:
I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other.
On Wednesday, United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan agreed to conduct a hearing on February 7, but in the interim, he imposed the restrictions that were set forth by the government. As part of the $250 million bail arrangement, Bankman-Fried is presently residing at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California. On January 3, he entered a not-guilty plea to the charges against him.