FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried Sent To Jail
A federal judge has revoked bail for Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, citing probable cause that he attempted to tamper with witnesses in relation to alleged crypto fraud. Bankman-Fried has been temporarily remanded to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn as arrangements are made for him to review discovery materials before his scheduled trial in October.
After the ruling, Bankman-Fried was handcuffed by US marshals and escorted out of the courtroom. His legal team promptly filed a notice of appeal on Friday.
Prosecutors sought the revocation of Bankman-Fried's bail following a series of alleged violations, including contacting potential witnesses against him, using a virtual private network to evade monitoring, and discussing former FTX executive Caroline Ellison with a reporter. Ellison, Bankman-Fried's ex-girlfriend and a former business partner, has taken a plea deal and plans to testify against him.
Judge Kaplan supported prosecutors' claim that Bankman-Fried attempted to conceal his actions by leaking Ellison's personal documents to the New York Times through a reporter, a move seen as an attempt to harm her. Bankman-Fried's attorneys argued for his right to defend his reputation in the media and emphasized his need for computer and internet access due to the complexity of his defense.
Bankman-Fried, aged 31, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges and is set to stand trial in October. He has been vocal in the media, admitting to mistakes as CEO of FTX but denying intentional fraud. Prosecutors allege that Bankman-Fried orchestrated a significant financial fraud, misappropriating funds from FTX to support risky investments, political contributions, and a lavish lifestyle.
FTX, once a prominent crypto-trading platform backed by celebrities and featured in Super Bowl commercials, faced financial concerns linked to Bankman-Fried's crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research, leading to its collapse and subsequent bankruptcy. This turn of events triggered a federal fraud investigation.