March 24, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyer assures that his client’s initiative vis-à-vis FTX employees is purely benevolent and that it would be inappropriate to cut off his means of communication. At the same time, he asks that the former CEO of FTX be able to access funds from the exchange again given “the lack of evidence” concerning him.

Sam Bankman-Fried says he’s trying to work things out

As we reported on January 28, prosecutors in the FTX case filed a document in Manhattan court asking the judge a review of the conditions of detention of Sam Bankman-Fried.

The latter accused him in particular of attempt to make contact with employees of the exchange, including FTX.US General Counsel Ryne Miller, via Signal secure messaging. Therefore, they have asked that the former CEO of FTX no longer have access to this type of messaging and that a lawyer be present whenever contacting an individual in connection with the bankrupt exchange.

Concerning Miller, the prosecutors notably supported their request by affirming that the lawyer of FTX.US could potentially hold information incriminating Sam Bankman-Friedas he had held his position since 2021 and had been present on the communication channels of the exchange during its collapse.

But the day after filing this request with the court, Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohenaccused prosecutors of trying to show his client “ in the worst possible light “, and he also ensures that the incriminated contact was only a benevolent initiative:

“This is simply a harmless attempt to offer assistance in FTX’s bankruptcy process and does not reflect any misconduct that justifies the restriction proposed here by the government. »

He also adds that such a court decision could harm SBF’s defense as part of his trial scheduled for next October, since approximately 350 FTX employees could, according to him, potentially hold crucial elements playing in his favor.

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SBF defense wants to give it access to FTX funds

In the same letter, Sam Bankman-Fried’s attorney asks the lifting of restrictions on the latter’s access to funds held by FTX. According to him, there is no evidence that SBF would be closely or remotely linked to the numerous movements of unauthorized funds from the exchange since its bankruptcy.

“Nearly three weeks have passed since the pre-trial meeting and we suspect that the government investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along, which is that he did not accede to these assets and has not transferred them. »

Indeed, following a preventive measure on January 3, the former CEO of FTX was denied access to funds from the exchange or from Alamada Research. Thereby, his lawyer wants him to be able to access the funds again.

A request that is surprising to say the least and which seems rather daring, given the multiple files that keep cropping up concerning the management of FTX. Caroline Ellison, former CEO of Alameda Researchnotably revealed that Sam Bankman-Fried had arranged transfers from Alameda to FTX.US during the group’s bankruptcy to “ fill a hole in the balance sheet [de l’entreprise] “.

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