Friday, December 8, 2023

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been remanded into custody ahead of his October trial on multiple financial crime charges after a federal judge revoked his release on bond.

Bankman-Fried, the 31-year-old former CEO of the FTX empire, appeared in court on Friday after the U.S. Department of Justice moved to send him back to jail on allegations of violating the terms of his bond by trying to tamper with multiple witnesses. According to the DOJ, Bankman-Fried’s reaching out to former FTX.US general counsel Ryne Miller and using a virtual private network to, in the words of his defense team, watch the Super Bowl, were enough to require a modification of his bail conditions. The last straw, however, was Bankman-Fried’s sharing part of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s private diary with the New York Times.

Bankman-Fried’s defense team admitted he shared some diary pages with the Times, though his attorneys disputed that he was trying to tamper with a witness in doing so. The defense team also argued that jailing Bankman-Fried would make it more difficult to prepare for his trial.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, wasn’t convinced by these arguments.

Bankman-Fried is currently set to go on trial at the start of October on wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and related conspiracy charges. He faces another trial, tentatively scheduled for next March, on additional charges brought by the DOJ after Bankman-Fried’s arrest and extradition.

Certain pretrial motions from both the prosecution and the defense are due to the court by Monday, Aug. 14.

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