A federal judge has reportedly revoked former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail following the release of information to New York Times reporters in an alleged attempt to intimidate witnesses.
According to reports of individuals present at an Aug. 11 hearing in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered Bankman-Fried’s bail revoked, suggesting he will be held in prison through the end of his trials for fraud related to his activities at FTX. Prosecutors had been pushing for the revocation of SBF’s $250-million bail which had kept him out of custody since his arraignment in December 2022.
Judge Kaplan reportedly said that Bankman-Fried’s interviews with New York Times reporters resulted in sharing information with the likely intention “to hurt and frighten” former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, his former colleague and girlfriend. Bankman-Fried’s legal team confirmed he had provided the reporters with some of the published information, which led to Judge Kaplan imposing a gag order preventing extrajudicial statements related to the criminal case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon reportedly cited SBF’s violations of previous bail conditions, which included a message on the Signal app to FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller in January, using a Virtual Private Network for his internet activity, and releasing information to reporters aimed at intimidating Ellison. She added that Putnam County Correctional Facility was prepared to offer Bankman-Fried a laptop should the judge order him remanded, but also suggested home detention with restrictions on Google Drive was an option.
“In view of the evidence, my conclusion is that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has attempted to tamper with witnesses at least twice,” said Kaplan, listing additional violations. “All things considered I am going to revoke bail.”
SBF just arrived to court – a judge could send him to jail this afternoon over witness tampering. Here’s a primer ahead of the hearing: https://t.co/7xA205agrD w/ @DawnGiel https://t.co/tb29du8WGY pic.twitter.com/shdjrbPeTG
— MacKenzie Sigalos (@KenzieSigalos) August 11, 2023
Sassoon reportedly argued SBF had allegedly asked witnesses to delete certain messages and documents. Bankman-Fried’s attorney Mark Cohen reportedly pressed the judge to allow SBF to continue his bail conditions, citing the need to coordinate with the legal team, and added any…