SBF cannot use Signal and communicate with FTX employees

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan placed communication restrictions on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as seen in a February 1st court filing.

The judgment imposes two restrictions. First, Bankman-Fried will not be able to use self-deleting and encrypted messaging apps, including Signal ⁠, a popular messaging app that it has used to contact associates in the past.

Second, Bankman-Fried will not be able to contact current and former employees of FTX and Alameda Research unless those individuals are exempt, are members of your immediate family, or you are in the presence of legal counsel.

Government prosecutors have been trying to get the judge to impose those conditions on Bankman-Fried since January 27th. prosecutors later archived documents containing Bankman-Fried’s attempted conversations with a witness (presumably FTX US General Counsel Ryne Miller) and with FTX’s replacement CEO John Ray III.

Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried contacted those people in an attempt to influence their testimony. Bankman-Fried, on the other hand, suggested that his conversation attempts were related to FTX’s separate bankruptcy case.

Kaplan said today that Bankman-Fried’s “benign” explanation “does not appear, on a preliminary basis, to be a persuasive read.” Kaplan noted that Bankman-Fried described repairing an apparently personal relationship in her messages.

The judge also noted that when Bankman-Fried ran FTX, he told others to enable auto-delete on certain apps. He also allegedly told former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison that legal cases could be made difficult by the lack of information preserved.

As such, Kaplan said today that there is sufficient risk to justify placing further restrictions on Bankman-Fried during its bail period.

The restrictions could be reversed after Bankman-Fried and her legal team present their own argument in a cross-petition, which will be heard in court on February 7. If the Bankman-Fried challenge fails, the judge’s final decision will cause the ban to continue. .

Bankman-Fried and his legal team will also seek to reverse the restrictions on his ability to access FTX and Alameda Research funds at that time.

Published in: FTX, US, Legal

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