It has been reported that a federal court has ruled against oral arguments asking that a former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, be permitted to use some chat applications.
As a condition of his release on a bond in the amount of $250 million, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is reported to have upheld his ruling that Bankman-Fried be prohibited from using encrypted messaging apps. The report was published on February 9 by Reuters. On February 1, the judge issued an order requiring SBF to refrain from communicating using apps such as Signal. However, the legal team representing the former CEO and the prosecutors had previously negotiated a deal that allowed for exceptions, including the use of Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and FaceTime.
According to reports, Judge Kaplan said that he was “much less interested in [Bankman- Fried’s] convenience” than he was in SBF contacting possible witnesses in his criminal case. Court documents indicated that he had gone out to FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller and current FTX CEO John Ray. According to Bloomberg, the court reportedly said that Bankman-Fried may be “intelligent enough to encrypt anything without a computer,” implying that the existing bail conditions are required.
“There is still snail mail and there is still email and there are all sorts of methods to interact that don’t provide the same hazards,” said Kaplan. “There are many other ways to communicate that don’t present the same concerns.”
Following his arrest and arraignment, Bankman-Fried made a personal appearance in court as part of the bail hearing; but, since then, he has been mainly confined to the residence he shares with his parents in California. According to reports, the conditions placed on his release will continue to apply until the 21st of February as a result of Kaplan’s decision to prolong them.
It is anticipated that Bankman-criminal Fried’s trial will commence in the month of October. He is expected to be charged with eight separate crimes, the most serious of which include wire fraud and breaches of campaign financing legislation. The United States Attorney’s Office has requested that the court issue an order delaying the civil lawsuits, as well as the discovery from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, until after the outcome of the criminal case has been determined.