US Prosecutors Wants to Alter Bankman-Fried’s Bail Conditions

Following Sam Bankman-Fried’s efforts to interfere with witness testimony in his ongoing trial, US attorneys have sought to have his bail terms altered. The Government’s request is premised upon suspicion that Bankman-Fried is already manipulating witness testimony, as shown by encrypted messages sent to one of the witnesses.

In specific terms, the request is intended to restrict the former CEO from having contact with his current and erstwhile colleagues at FTX and Alameda Research LLC. In addition, the request is meant to keep him from using encrypted calls or messages.

The US attorneys allege that Bankman-Fried reached out to Witness-1 on January 15 through the Signal messaging application, where he said the following; 

“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.” 

It is believed that Bankman-Fried’s effort to influence Witness-1’s testimony is based on his belief that Witness-1 possesses information that may facilitate his acquittal. 

The encrypted messages complained about revealed that the defendant had instructed that the investments of Alameda be sold to pay off FTX customer withdrawals. 

The messages also showed that the defendant surreptitiously transferred roughly $45 million from Alameda into FTX.US without making the public aware. This move by Bankman-Fried was intended to cover a significant lapse in the financial books of FTX.US and misrepresent it as solvent.

Bankman-Fried Released on Bail

The former CEO’s bail bond was approved in December after which he was extradited to the US to face criminal charges. Based on the approved bail bond, he was moved to his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California under house arrest. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein granted the bail request in a federal district court in Manhattan.

It is worth noting that the bond does not currently restrict the defendant’s ability to contact any potential witnesses in the case, although the US prosecutors are now seeking to change that.

In recent news, FTX lawyers are seeking court permission to subpoena Sam Bankman-Fried and his family. The lawyers took such measures in order to recover the assets of investors who were still trapped in the defunct exchange.