DOJ requests communication ban for Sam Bankman-Fried

DOJ requests communication ban for Sam Bankman-Fried

30.01.2023 09:21 (Updated 30.01.2023 09:01)
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by Yana Popenkova
2 min read

Federal prosecutors have sent a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Friday, asking that bail conditions for Sam Bankman-Fried be modified to include a ban on private communications with former and current FTX and Alameda employees.

As the letter indicates, Sam contacted FTX.US General Counsel Ryne Miller, ostensibly to influence his upcoming testimony.

Sam wrote Ryne Miller via the private messaging app Signal:

I would really love to reconnect and see if thereโ€™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.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), this isn’t the first time Bankman-Fried contacted former and current FTX employees. To put a stop to it, DOJ called for a ban on Sam using “any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including, but not limited to Signal.”

The Government is seeking to limit the defendantโ€™s contact only with current and former FTX and Alameda employees, the very people who until recently were the [Sam Bankman-Fried’s] underlings whom he supervised and financially compensated, and who are therefore most vulnerable to intimidation.

DOJ finds Sam Bankman-Fried’s attempts to “vet things with each other” in messages to Ryne Miller particularly troubling because Ryne had first-hand knowledge of Sam’s conduct during the FTX collapse:

[Ryne Miller] participated in Signal and Slack communications with the defendant and a small group of company insiders during the relevant events of November 2022. In those messages, among other things, [Sam Bankman-Fried] gave instructions for liquidating Alamedaโ€™s investments to satisfy FTX customer withdrawals, and indicated that he transferred approximately $45 million dollars of Alameda funds to FTX US to fill an apparent hole in FTX USโ€™s balance sheet.

The prosecutors said that the ex-CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison, testified that Bankman-Fried purposely used self-destructing Slack and Signal messages for work to avoid creating evidence that could be used against him in court.

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  • Previously worked in the arts, now specializes in covering crypto with an emphasis on DeFi, blockchain and mass adoption. Offers simple and clear writing, always looking for new ways to present information. Major in International Relations, minor in English, in a spare time reads postmodern literature, does yoga and watches movies.

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