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U.S. Attorneys Raise Concerns Against SBF's Use of VPN, SBF Denies Any Malicious Activity

Prosecutors in the United States are concerned about Sam Bankman-usage Fried's Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the internet while he is under house detention.

Photo by Petter Lagson / Unsplash

Prosecutors in the United States are concerned about Sam Bankman-usage Fried's Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the internet while he is under house detention.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office in New York wrote (1) to U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan to inform him that the former FTX head had utilized a virtual private network (VPN) on January 29 and February 12. Bankman-Fried is accused of several crimes related to FTX, and Judge Kaplan presides over the government's case against her.

A virtual private network (VPN) conceals one's true I.P. address, making online activity anonymous. Lawyers for the government have expressed concern that this may be an issue for SBF since it would allow him to hide the sites he visits, his location, access sites that are blocked in the United States, transfer data without being traced, and access the black web.

Put another way, "in other words, the ISP or other parties (including the government) cannot know which websites a user is accessing or what data is being sent or received online," the prosecutors stated.

According to reports, legal counsel for SBF has stated that the embattled crypto chief did not utilize VPN for malicious purposes.

In a second letter to Judge Kaplan, the lawyers said their client "used the VPN to access an NFL Game Pass international membership that he had previously purchased while he resided in the Bahamas so that he could watch NFL playoff games."

The Communication Drama at SBF Continues

Judge Kaplan forbade SBF to use an auto-delete texting program last week. The decision was made because of allegations from the prosecution that the disgraced crypto CEO had attempted to influence possible witnesses of his trial through the use of the secure communications app Signal.

SBF has been in touch with "present and former FTX personnel," according to government attorneys. Prosecutors have urged the court to prohibit SBF from using the messaging platform because they worry that it would be used to tamper with witnesses, which they say is necessary to "avoid obstruction of justice."

Due to concerns over potential conflicts of interest, the U.S. Department of Justice objected to FTX's January decision to hire Sullivan & Cromwell, the legal firm presently investigating the exchange.

FTX and its crypto subsidiary firms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early November. Following the formal filing of criminal charges against him by U.S. authorities, the disgraced founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was detained in The Bahamas.

Once he was extradited to the United States, he was able to secure his release from prison by paying a $250 million bond in a New York court.

Over $8 billion in client deposits were lost, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which also filed civil accusations against SBF for fraud related to Bankman-Fried, FTX, and Alameda Research. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a parallel set of accusations.

On Monday, a court in New York placed on hold the SEC and CFTC lawsuits against SBF, giving greater weight to the criminal cases against the crypto chief. He contended that the criminal case's outcome would affect the lingering difficulties in the civil suits.