Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of now-bankrupt FTX is asking for a ‘gag order’ for other witnesses in his criminal case.
This request would require that these witnesses do not make any comment to third parties which may influence the outcome of his trial. Bankman-Fried’s request comes after he agreed to a gag order for himself, preventing him from talking to any unauthorized third party to sway his trial.
Gag Order to Cut Across U.S. Government, FTX Debtors and Others
Amongst those whom he thinks should be gaged, SBF mentioned the new CEO of the crypto exchange John Ray III. It would also include the United States government, former employees of FTX, FTX Debtor entities, Alameda Research and other associated entities.
“We respectfully request that any such relief, however, should apply not just to Mr. Bankman-Fried, but equally to all ‘parties and witnesses’ — namely, the Government and all potential witnesses in this case.”
Caroline Ellison Becomes Government Witness
Recently, the United States Department of Justice filed a complaint against the young billionaire for attempting to discredit Caroline Ellison who was once his business partner, romantic partner and an executive of FTX. Before chaos hit the Bahamian-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange and its other associates, Ellison was the CEO of Alameda Research, the sister trading firm of FTX.
She and Gary Wang were indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for aiding Bankman-Fried in his criminal pursuit. Specifically, Ellison allegedly tricked the price of FTT, an exchange token produced by FTX, based on SBF’s request. Markedly, both Ellison and Wang pleaded guilty to charges levied against them in relation to the collapse of FTX.
After that time, Ellison became a government witness in the FTX case.
SBF Attempted to Discredit Former Business Partner
Therefore, when Bankman-Fried shared her personal writings with a journalist to get them featured in an article published by The New York Times on Thursday, July 20th, his action was perceived as a threat, hence, the gag order. This personal document contains details of her struggles while at Alameda Research including information about her breakup with SBF.
SBF’s lawyers from Cohen & Gresser LLP had tried to deny the allegations in a letter sent to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the U.S. District Court of New York. However, they agreed to the gag order as requested by the Department of Justic (DoJ).