- Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, is facing the potential revocation of his bail due to allegations of intimidation towards his former partner, Caroline Ellison.
- In response to the allegations, his defense team has suggested incorporating potential witnesses into the contact bans of the bail conditions.
In a recent twist, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former Chief Executive Officer of FTX, could see his bail release annulled. This development comes as he faces allegations of indirectly pressurizing his former partner, Caroline Ellison. The presiding judge in SBF’s criminal case is reportedly contemplating this measure seriously, according to media sources.
SBF's lawyer: No objection, your Honor.
Judge Kaplan: Who should go first with a written submission? The government. When?
AUSA Sassoon: Friday or tomorrow.
Judge Kaplan: Friday is fine with me. Careful attention to the statute and case law
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 26, 2023
During a court hearing on July 26, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Deputy U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon moved to request the rescinding of SBF’s bail. She alleges that he has used his release to intimidate Caroline Ellison, the ex-CEO of FTX subsidiary Alameda Research, potentially dissuading her from testifying. According to Sassoon, SBF made nearly 100 calls to a reporter who had covered Ellison’s private online diaries in The New York Times.
A Stern Warning to Bankman-Fried
Judge Lewis Kaplan, who will be taking the prosecution and defense’s statements regarding the allegations on July 28 and August 3, sternly warned Bankman-Fried during the hearing that he should
“take his bail conditions seriously.”
Since his arrest and indictment in December 2022, the former FTX CEO has appeared in court multiple times to discuss these conditions, which primarily require him not to leave his parents’ house in California and prohibit him from using messaging apps, virtual private networks (VPNs), and certain technical services.
Responding to the prosecution’s allegation that SBF is attempting to disrupt the criminal proceedings by publicly discrediting Ellison, his defense team argued that Kaplan should include potential witnesses in the bail’s contact bans, including the current FTX CEO, John Ray. After FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, Ray has spoken several times with various media on a variety of topics related to the failed crypto exchange.
The first criminal trial against Bankman-Fried is scheduled for October 2. However, he is likely to appear in court in a separate proceeding only from March 2024. The former FTX CEO has pleaded not guilty on all charges.