In a letter sent to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, attorneys for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have asked if the court would allow their client to communicate electronically once again. This request comes in response to allegations that Bankman-Fried may have engaged in witness tampering.
The former billionaire is currently facing life house arrest on charges of fraud and conspiracy. According to a four-page filing by federal prosecutors, Bankman-Fried attempted to contact Ryne Miller, the general counsel for FTX US, using the Signal encrypted messaging app.
Bankman-Fried’s attorneys understand the severity of these allegations and therefore have volunteered to take steps to prevent any backsliding while allowing the former CEO to return to online communication. In exchange, his lawyers promise that they will not contest the order of Judge Kaplan barring Bankman-Fried from transferring assets and property associated with FTX and Alameda Research.
Lawyers Mark S. Cohen and Christian R. Everdell representing Bankman-Fried have stated an agreement was made in regards to the bail conditions after certain individuals were exempted from the suggested no-contact clause. The attorneys requested Judge Kaplan to approve the use of FaceTime, iMessage, Zoom, SMS texts, email, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp for Bankman-Fried.
FTX's Bankman-Fried, prosecutors reach deal over contact with employees https://t.co/6BLpjz4Lr0 pic.twitter.com/xYFURueRgq
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 7, 2023
What Was Originally Proposed?
The original ban on Bankman-Fried using messaging apps included disallowing utilization of any encrypted or “ephemeral” call or messaging application, for example, Signal.
Ephemeral messaging applications, such as Signal, offer users the ability to set customized time limits – ranging from 30 seconds to four weeks – when sending messages. Although the feature may be utilized for illicit activities, it is also used by journalists and activists to communicate securely, reducing the risk of interception by rogue governments.
On December 12, 2022, U.S. citizen, Bankman-Fried, was arrested in the Bahamas and taken to the United States a week later. He faces 8 counts of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy according to the U.S. Department of Justice.