Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been ordered (1) by a district court in the United States to refrain from communicating in an encrypted manner with workers of FTX or Alameda.
The troubled former CEO of FTX attempted to discuss the situation with a possible witness on Wednesday when US District Judge Lewis Kaplan announced his decision.
Reports indicate that SBF recently spoke with a possible witness using an encrypted method to build a more cooperative working relationship.
A further allegation made by the prosecution is that the humiliated former CEO of FTX sought to get in touch with the company's current general counsel at FTX US by using the encrypted messaging network known as Signal.
According to the team that was in charge of the prosecution, SBF wrote the following via Signal and email:
"I would love to reunite and see if there's a way for us to establish a good rapport, use one another as assets when it's feasible, or at least assess stuff with each other," you said.
According to the assessment of the prosecution team, the actions of SBF in attempting to make contact with possible witnesses may affect later testimony. The plaintiffs have submitted a document requesting that SBF cease communication with former or present workers of FTX and its sibling company, Alameda Research.
In addition, the prosecutor's office provided SBF with a provision that permits the company to make obligatory interactions when a legal representative is present. The submission demonstrates that the pre-trial limitation involving the SBF development is not an unusual one.
In addition, the prosecutors requested that the court in charge of the case prohibit Bankman-Fried from making encrypted calls or using encrypted messaging services.
They believe that if the accused former crypto leader were banned from accessing encrypted communication methods, the obstruction of justice charge would be dropped.
Here is What SBF's Lawyers Said
At first, the defense team for SBF fought back against the prosecution's allegations of "witness tampering" against the former chief executive of FTX.
On Saturday, the defense attorneys for the defendant turned in a letter challenging the request made by the prosecution and raising concerns about the proposal's feasibility. It said in the letter:
It is simply not possible to implement the government's suggestion that Mr. Bankman-Fried is prohibited from communicating with former or current FTX workers without counsel present.
For instance, this would imply that Mr. Bankman-Fried would be prevented from communicating with his therapist, who had formerly worked for FTX, if his attorneys were present.
Additionally, the defendant's legal team presented its interpretation of the limits that may be served alternatively to Bankman-Fried.
The attorneys for the defendant argued that the criteria set out by the prosecution were unreasonable and instead advocated limiting SBF communications to certain past and current workers of the defendant's two businesses.
These individuals include Caroline Ellison, formerly the CEO of Alameda Research, Nishad Singh, formerly the director of engineering at FTX, and "Gary" Wang, formerly the chief technology officer at FTX.
SBF's legal team offered different conditions, one of which was to have the restriction placed on SBF's ability to move monies associated with FTX or Alameda lifted while he was out on bail.
According to the attorneys, the rationale behind demanding such a condition has yet to be supported by evidence over three weeks after the initial request.