Former FTX CEO’s Defense Slams DOJ’s Attempt to Revoke Bail

The DOJ claims that Bankman-Fried’s actions amounted to witness tampering and obstruction of justice and that he should be remanded.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s defense team has mounted a robust defense against the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) motion to revoke the former FTX CEO’s bail bond. 

The defense’s 18-page petition to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan deconstructs the DOJ’s arguments, calling them “extremely thin” and criticizing the reliance on “assumptions, unsupported inferences, and innuendo.”

The DOJ’s Claims against  Bankman-Fried

Bankman-Fried’s defense attorneys methodically scrutinized the DOJ’s move to revoke bail, claiming that the government’s arguments lack substance and factual support. The defense contended that the claims leveled against Bankman-Fried were at best hypothetical and lacked solid evidence of wrongdoing.

Bankman-Fried’s journey through the legal system began with his arrest in the Bahamas, followed by extradition to the United States. After nine days in custody, he secured his release on bail on December 21. However, the DOJ is now attempting to reverse this decision, arguing that Bankman-Fried’s actions since his release warrant his return to remand.

The crux of the DOJ’s motion lies in the assertion that Bankman-Fried engaged in over 100 phone calls with a New York Times reporter. The government claims that during these calls, Bankman-Fried shared personal documents of Caroline Ellison, a former executive of Alameda Research and a key witness that was not part of the official discovery material.

The DOJ claims that Bankman-Fried’s actions amounted to witness tampering and obstruction of justice and that he should be remanded. In addition to the phone call allegations, the government also claimed that Bankman-Fried used an encrypted messaging application Signal to communicate with other witnesses, raising concerns about potential attempts to evade surveillance. 

Defense against Bail Bond Annulment

Nevertheless, arguments on the former FTX CEO’s bail bond saw his legal team vehemently challenge these claims, raising critical questions about evidence and fairness. The defense challenges the government’s version of events, asserting that it fails to accurately represent the facts and removes them from their proper context. 

The documents provided in discovery, according to the defense, clarify that Ellison initiated communication with Bankman-Fried, and his response was an attempt to offer his assistance as a resource in a bankruptcy case, rather than an attempt to tamper with testimony.

Regarding the government’s claim that Bankman-Fried used a VPN to hide his online activities, the defense straightforwardly countered this assertion. They claim that Bankman-Fried used the VPN for completely harmless reasons, such as watching football. The defense rejects any suggestion of inappropriate use, claiming that there is no evidence to show otherwise.

Furthermore, the defense addressed Bankman-Fried’s contact with a New York Times reporter, claiming that it was not intended to intimidate or sway the jury pool, as the government claims. 

Instead, they argue that he was exercising his rights by providing fair feedback on an ongoing article. The defense emphasizes that the reporter had alternate sources and that Bankman-Fried’s involvement was entirely legal.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalist who relishes writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desire to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain media and sites.

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