Judge orders Sam Bankman-Fried to avoid FTX staff


A Manhattan federal select on Wednesday ordered accused crypto schemer Sam Bankman-Fried to not contact any current or ex-employees of FTX, his former digital-currency agency, whereas he’s out on bail inside the sprawling fraud case. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan issued the order on the request of federal prosecutors and might hear arguments from Bankman-Fried’s attorneys regarding the restrictions all through a listening to on Feb. 7. 

In a letter to Kaplan, prosecutors revealed that Bankman-Fried despatched a message to FTX’s current fundamental counsel on the encrypted messaging app Signal weeks after he was indicted in Manhattan federal courtroom docket. 

“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,” Bankman-Fried wrote to the employee, according to the submitting. 

Prosecutors well-known the general counsel may be a witness at trial and the message might have been an strive by Bankman-Fried to have an effect on the person’s testimony. 

“The defendant’s request to ‘vet things with each other’ is suggestive of an effort to influence Witness-1’s potential testimony, and the appeal for a ‘constructive relationship’ likewise implies that Witness-1 should align with the defendant,” their letter states. 

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have beneficial the message was a benign communication – an argument rejected by Kaplan. 

“The message in its entirety seems to be an invitation for Witness-1 to align his views and recollections with defendant’s version of events and thus make their relationship ‘constructive’,” Kaplan wrote. 

“In perhaps more colloquial terms, it appears to have been an effort to have both the defendant and Witness-1 sing out of the same hymn book,” he added. 

Bankman-Fried was charged in December in an eight-count indictment for allegedly swindling consumers and purchasers of FTX by diverting funds from the become Alameda, a hedge fund he managed. 

Two of his prime staff, Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, have pleaded accountable and are cooperating with investigators. 

Bankman-Fried, a well-known Democratic donor, was moreover charged with advertising marketing campaign finance violations. He has pleaded not accountable to all prices.

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