US vs FTX SBF Case Update: Judge to Review Proposed Gag Order Ahead of October 2 Hearing

UTC by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
US vs FTX SBF Case Update: Judge to Review Proposed Gag Order Ahead of October 2 Hearing
Photo: Depositphotos

Former FTX CEO has been accused of intimidating the witnesses including Caroline Ellison by leaking personal information to the press to influence his trial.

As the former head of the derailed cryptocurrency exchange FTX and sister firm Alameda Research Sam Bankman-Fried, alias SBF, has been accused by the United States prosecutors of orchestrating one of the largest corporate scams in modern financial markets. Moreover, the FTX and Alameda exchange had received significant investments from institutional investors including government sectors in various jurisdictions around the world. Additionally, millions of cryptocurrency traders were left stranded after more than $30 billion was wiped out of the FTX exchange following alleged spendthrift by the former management.

Notably, the current FTX administration led by John Ray has signaled a move to reopen the exchange in a bid to make the creditors whole again. Moreover, the FTX recovery team has only managed to recover about $8 billion as of publication time. As a result, SBF has been charged with wire fraud and overstepping SEC securities laws.

Mind you, the former FTX management employees apart from SBF have admitted to committing the charges laid out by the prosecutors.

Former FTX CEO SBF Fights Back Losing Battle

In a letter dated July 22, 2023, from SBF lawyers and directed to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, it is evident the former FTX top executive is in distress and intends to fight for his freedom. Currently under house arrest after a $250 million bail, SBF is under strict control not to use any messaging applications, VPNs, or any tech whatsoever until the trial happens on October 02.

Notably, SBF has been accused of intimidating crucial witnesses in his case including the current FTX CEO through messaging apps. Additionally, SBF has been accused of leaking a private journal belonging to Caroline Ellison to a reporter with the New York Times.

However, SBF lawyers responded by indicating that their client was clarifying to a reporter on misinformed reports about him and the case.

“….The reporter contacted Mr. Bankman-Fried about a story he was working on concerning Ms. Ellison and asked Mr. Bankman-Fried if he wished to respond. Mr. Bankman-Fried ultimately agreed to speak to the reporter and invited him for a visit at his parent’s home pursuant to the procedures outlined in the bail conditions imposed by this Court,” the SBF lawyers noted.

In a proposed motion by the United States government, Judge Kaplan is expected to rule on largely preventing all involved parties and their attorneys from contacting the media. If the proposed order is upheld by the United Court, SBF could be barred from using surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers to make statements on his behalf.

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