Disgraced FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Seeks to Access Exchange’s Funds

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Disgraced FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Seeks to Access Exchange’s Funds
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SBF’s defense lawyer noted that there’s no evidence of his client’s involvement with the transfer of funds between FTX and FTX US. Thus, the lawyer demanded that SBF be given access to FTX’s funds.

As per the court filing last Saturday, January 28, lawyers representing disgraced FTX founder Sam-Bankman Fried are looking to remove a bail condition that prevented him from accessing the exchange’s funds.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen wrote to the United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan adding that his client should get access to the assets held by FTX. Kaplan further noted that Bankman-Fried wasn’t involved in any unauthorized transactions previously.

However, during the collapse of the FTX empire back in November 2022, FTX and FTX US sought unauthorized transfers worth $659 million. But the disgraced founder Bankman-Fried continues to deny any involvement in these transfers.

during the first court hearing on January 3, Bankman-Fried was “prohibited from accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency, including assets or cryptocurrency purchased with funds from FTX or Alameda” at the request of US authorities. Back then, the prosecutors had acknowledged that there was no evidence of SBF’s involvement in the transfer of funds. However, the US authorities noted that the federal probe was underway.

SBF’s Lawyer Seeks Answers on FTX Funds

In the recent filing last Saturday, the lawyer representing Sam Bankman-Fried argued that its been “three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference and we assume that the Government’s investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely, that he did not access and transfer these assets”.

The lawyer also argued that the defense had notified the authorities as soon as they became aware of the transfer to provide the notification. The lawyers also argued: “Given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed.”

Last week, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) put forward a request of prohibiting SBF from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX without the presence of his attorney. This happened after SBF reached out to Ryan Miller, the current General Counsel of FTX US, over Signal on Jan 15, attempting to influence Miller’s testimony.

SBF lawyer Mark Cohen said that his client should have unlimited contact with his father, therapist, and any employee or agent, even outside the presence of his attorney. The defense added:

“For example, it would mean that Mr. Bankman-Fried could not speak to his therapist, who is a former FTX employee, without the participation of his lawyers. According to public sources, FTX and Alameda had approximately 350 employees. Each of these current and former employees could have information crucial to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s defense. Requiring Mr. Bankman-Fried to include counsel in every communication with a former or current FTX employee would place an unnecessary strain on his resources and prejudice his ability to defend this case.”

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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