Saturday, December 2, 2023

Attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried pushed back against the U.S. Department of Justice’s motion to remand the FTX founder in a court filing Tuesday, saying it relied on an “extremely thin” factual basis.

The DOJ has “jumped to conclusions” about Bankman-Fried’s conduct, the filing said, which also pushed back against government arguments that he had pushed the boundaries of his bond release on multiple prior occasions.

Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried had shared former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s personal diary with the New York Times in an attempt to harass her and potentially tamper with her testimony as a potential witness in his criminal trial in October 2023.

During a hearing last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon said the DOJ was seeking Bankman-Fried’s detention, an argument her team reiterated in a written submission on Friday.

“The defendant’s leaking of Ellison’s private writings is yet another instance of the defendant trying to intimidate and corruptly persuade Ellison with respect to her upcoming trial testimony, as well as an effort to influence or prevent the testimony of other potential trial witnesses by creating the specter that their most intimate business is at risk of being reported in the press,” the DOJ said in the filing, pointing to Bankman-Fried’s previous reach-out to FTX.US’s general counsel to “vet things with each other” as another example of alleged witness tampering.

Bankman-Fried faces seven different charges, including securities and wire fraud allegations, for a trial currently scheduled to kick off in October. Another trial, set for March, will see the DOJ try Bankman-Fried again on another five charges, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The DOJ also announced last week that it had dropped a campaign finance charge, citing treaty obligations.

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