Prosecutors ask federal judge to jail Sam Bankman-Fried over witness tampering

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Prosecutors ask federal judge to jail Sam Bankman-Fried over witness tampering


FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at Manhattan Federal Court for a court appearance in New York, United States on June 15, 2023. 

Fatih Aktas/ | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail in a Manhattan court filing Friday, claiming that the billionaire had violated the terms of the release and repeatedly tampered with witnesses.

“What the defendant may not do, and what he has now done repeatedly, is seek to corruptly influence witnesses and interfere with a fair trial through attempted public harassment and shaming,” prosecutors wrote.

If granted, the order from U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan would return Bankman-Fried to jail, months after his extradition from the Bahamas and ahead of his expected October trial. Bankman-Fried, whose crypto company sank into bankruptcy last year, faces multiple fraud and money laundering charges over his role in the implosion of the multibillion-dollar exchange.

A federal prosecutor argued in court Wednesday that “no set of release conditions can ensure the safety of the community.”

Prosecutors and Bankman-Fried’s team met in federal court Wednesday after Bankman-Fried leaked the private diaries of his former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, to a New York Times reporter. Bankman-Fried is barred under the terms of his bail from conventional smartphone access and has restricted internet access abilities.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried’s only intent in sharing Ellison’s diary was to intimidate her.

Ellison, who was the top executive at Bankman-Fried’s hedge fund, has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and is cooperating with the government’s prosecution of Bankman-Fried.

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