Sam Bankman-Fried is asking for access to cryptographic assets associated with FTX and Alameda Research, according to a letter written by his attorney, Mark Cohen. Cohen insists that existing bail conditions “related to transfers of cryptographic assets should be removed“.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team argues for the removal of two bail conditions.
In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, explains that his team believes Bankman-Fried’s current bail conditions are unfair and should be removed. Bankman-Fried was indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan and faces eight counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and campaign finance violations.
The former FTX CEO was released on bail, and Judge Kaplan placed certain restrictions on Bankman-Fried’s bail. For example, the defendant was sent back to his parents in California with a government-monitored ankle monitor. Cohen, an attorney who represented Ghislaine Maxwell in her recent sex trafficking case, asks that “two additions“be removed from Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions. The first is that Bankman-Fried is currently prohibited from speaking with Caroline Ellison, Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, two redacted witnesses, and George Lerner (Bankman-Fried’s therapist).
Cohen points out that the bail condition is “too broad“and that Bankman-Fried’s intentions to contact these people are attempts”to offer assistance in the FTX bankruptcy process.“Counsel notes that this type of communication “does not reflect misconduct“. Cohen provides an example, detailing that the government’s bail condition means that “Bankman-Fried could not talk to his therapist, who is a former FTX employee, without the involvement of his attorneys.“
Although the government has expressed concerns about Bankman-Fried’s use of Signal and “other ephemeral messaging applications“, Bankman-Fried’s legal team believes these concerns are unwarranted. “Government’s proposed bail condition on ephemeral messaging apps should not be imposed“, Cohen’s letter to Judge Kaplan details.
SBF requests access to cryptographic assets related to FTX and Alameda Research.
In addition, Bankman-Fried is seeking rights to access specific cryptographic assets associated with FTX and quantitative trading firm Alameda Research. “Sam Bankman-Fried will not be able to d’access or transfer any FTX or Alameda assets or crypto-currencies, including assets or crypto-currencies purchased with FTX or Alameda funds“, note the bail conditions.
Bankman-Fried legal representation is urging the judge to drop the bail condition, as the team believes the conditions are unjustified. The government’s justification was bolstered by the recent transfers of funds from FTX and Alameda, Cohen explains in his letter. However, Bankman-Fried has “repeatedly denied any involvement in the transfers“and he contacted the government as soon as he noticed the movement of funds. At a pretrial conference on January 3, 2023, prosecutors said they were still “investigating“to find out who was responsible for the crypto-currency transfers.
Cohen concludes that three weeks have passed since the conference, and the legal team assumes that the government’s investigation has proven “that it did not access and transfer these assets.“If investigators understood that Bankman-Fried did not engage in transactions with the cited cryptographic assets, then “The existing bail condition related to transfers of cryptographic assets.“should cease. Bankman-Fried’s attorneys summarize the letter by pointing out that “the only basis advanced for requesting this condition has not been supported“, the Bankman-Fried law firm wholeheartedly believes that the “bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed.“