Global NewsThe Case Against Crypto Mogul Sam Bankman-Fried

The Case Against Crypto Mogul Sam Bankman-Fried


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Explained: The Case Against Crypto Mogul Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried had pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud (File)

A US court revoked the bail of Sam Bankman- Fried, founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, after concluding that he had repeatedly attempted to influence witnesses against him.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan explained that the court believed that the Bankman-Fried had pushed the boundaries of his bail condition to a point that the protection of the prosecution could not be ensured unless the 31-year-old was put behind bars. Bankman-Fried was escorted out of the courtroom handcuffed after the hearing.

Here’s what all has happened in the case so far:

  • Bankman-Fried was arrested from his apartment in the Bahamas on December 12 following the request of prosecutors in New York in connection to the fall of his cryptocurrency business. He spent nine days in prison, before deciding not to fight extradition to the United States.
  • The 31-year-old crypto mogul pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy in money laundering and election finance violations, in connection with the collapse of his cryptocurrency firm. Sam Bankman-Fried was released on a $250 million bail package last year in December. He has been largely confined to his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California. 
  • Bankman-Fried’s bail package restricted his internet and phone usage.
  • Citing The New York Times article that contained private writings of Caroline Ellison, who formerly worked at FTX’s sister trading house Alameda Research, the prosecutors, in the latest hearing, argued that Bankman Fried’s activities as a source to the publication amounted to witness intimidation. Ellison, who previously was romantically involved with Bankman-Fried, is a cooperating witness in the government’s case.
  • The prosecutors argued that the Bankman-Fried was trying to hamper the reputation of Ellison and influence other witnesses by sharing deep thoughts about her job and the romantic relationship she had with him.
  • Judge Lewis A Kaplan said there was probable cause to believe Bankman-Fried had tried to “tamper with witnesses at least twice” since his December arrest, most recently by showing a journalist the private writings of a former girlfriend and key witness against him and in January when he reached out to FTX’s general counsel with encrypted communication.
  • Kaplan had previously imposed a gag order requested by the prosecutor for the Crypto mogul, giving both sides until August 3 to explain whether jail was necessary for the former billionaire.
  • FTX and Alameda Research went bankrupt in November last year, collapsing a business that once was valued at $32 billion by the market.

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