Sam Bankman Fried (SBF), the co-founder of FTX. FTX was among the top three biggest cryptocurrency exchanges before it filed for bankruptcy in late November last year. SBF is in fresh trouble for talking to former and current employees of his company FTX.
On January 1, 2023, a federal judge temporarily tightened Bankman’s bail conditions, knowing that he was in continuous communication with several former and current employees of the crypto exchange.
The Judge notes that it appears to be a “material threat of inappropriate contact with prospective witnesses.” Judge Lewis Kaplan noted that FTX founder Bankman is not permitted to contact current and former employees of his trading firm without the presence of an attorney. He is not supposed to communicate using encrypted messaging applications as well. Until and unless the Judge hears the arguments from both sides in the next hearing.
According to CNN, the restrictions were imposed after federal prosecutors raised his concern of witness tampering when it was discovered that Sam was in direct contact with the former general counsel of FTX, identified as “Witness-1” in the court filing.
The prosecuting attorney said Witness-1 could be called to testify against Bankman Fried when he stands in Trail. However, it is important to note that Bankman has pleaded not guilty to eight other charges.
Sam said, “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.”
Federal prosecutors claim that FTX’s former CEO directed FTX and Alameda using slack and Signal and ordered his employees to change their communication settings and opt for “auto delete after 30 days or less.”
The federal Judge disagreed with Bankman prosecuting attorney’s argument that the message was benign.
Lewis Kaplan noted that “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.”
“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.
The bankruptcy filing of FTX had stirred the market, forcing several associated companies to close down. A few major companies that followed the bankruptcy path of FTX are BlockFi and Genesis. However, it is predicted that many more companies could file for bankruptcy in the upcoming weeks.
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