The move comes after a news story about FTX revealed that the former CEO had tried to contact an ex-employee using the messaging app Signal.
New Bail Conditions for Sam Bankman-Fried
As part of revised bail conditions, the 30-year-old business mogul – who pleaded not guilty to fraud charges related to the crypto-currency exchange collapse – has agreed that he will not use encrypted chat apps like Signal. However, he will be allowed to send normal texts and make Zoom and Facetime calls. In addition, it was also stated that if SBF agreed to download monitoring software on his phone, he would be able to use messaging services like WhatsApp.
Mark S. Cohen, who represents Bankman-Fried, provided details of the newly imposed conditions in a letter that was submitted to federal court in Manhattan on Monday. Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan had already scheduled a hearing Thursday to decide whether to grant the prosecution’s request to bar Bankman-Fried from using encrypted applications and communicating with his former FTX colleagues.
Sam Bankman-Fried attempts to tamper with evidence?
The parties had reached an agreement on a relatively small group of former FTX employees with whom Sam Bankman-Fried would not speak, according to Mark S. Cohen, who asked that Thursday’s hearing be cancelled. The people SBF had agreed not to contact were not named in Monday’s letter; however, Mark S. Cohen had previously said he had proposed a group that included former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison and FTX co-founder Gary Wang. Both Ellison and Wang have pleaded guilty to fraud and are now cooperating with authorities.
The potential for Sam Bankman-Fried to manipulate witnesses prompted prosecutors to seek a prior restraining order against any communication with former co-workers. Nevertheless, Cohen said the defense also withdrew its objection to a prior bail condition proposed by the government that prevents Bankman-Fried from moving any assets related to FTX or Alameda.
After being arrested in December on suspicion of criminal fraud, the crypto entrepreneur is now under house arrest after posting $250 million bail. Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty and is currently awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin on October 2, according to FTX reports from the court hearings. The pending FTX case was assigned the code 22-cr-673 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).