Federal prosecutors of the Southern District of New York overseeing the current case against Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder and former CEO of FTX, want the court to impose tighter bail conditions on the defendant.
Based on their investigations, they discovered that Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, had messaged the general counsel of FTX US via Signal.
Signal is a messaging app similar to WhatsApp. The platform offers instant messaging across platforms, allowing people to communicate privately. Signal creators’ primary focus is on security and privacy. The application is run as a non-profit managed by a foundation. Over 40 million people use it, and per court filings, SBF is one of them.
Investigators said messages sent to the general counsel of FTX US, an individual who can be a potential witness in the ongoing criminal case against SBF, were “suggestive of an effort to influence a witness’ potential testimony.”
On January 15, SBF, prosecutors say, messaged the general counsel asking if they could “reconnect” and “if there’s a way for (for them) to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources.”
Investigators claim these messages are concerning because, considering the nature of the current investigation, the general counsel might have access to information that might help indict the defendant.
For his action, federal prosecutors are asking the overseeing judge to prevent SBF from communicating with former employees and to stop using Signal. His continued communication would be contrary to the bail terms.
Even in his house arrest, the former CEO continues to receive visitors. For instance, there are reports that author Michael Lewis visited SBF. He is writing a book about the crypto entrepreneur.
SBF managed FTX, an exchange that was at one point one of the most liquid in the world, only after Binance and Coinbase, since launch. However, it later emerged that through Alameda Research, SBF was misusing user funds to recklessly trade, invest in crypto projects, and donate to U.S. political parties.
Falling crypto prices also accelerated the collapse.
Following the collapse of FTX and the revelation of the extent of SBF’s misappropriation, U.S. authorities are charging the 30-year-old with, among others, money laundering, fraud, and campaign finance violation.
SBF is out on a $250 million bond and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. Apart from the various interviews he did earlier before his arrest, it has emerged that the former CEO has begun mounting a defense of his own. Recently, it was revealed that he had been laying out his turn of events leading to the collapse of FTX on Substack, a media platform.
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