After a judge rejected bail request, FTX founder is taken to court

NEW YORK (AP) — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will head to a New York courtroom Thursday to face a federal judge who said his effort to contact a likely trial witness against him seemed designed so they would “sing out of the same hymn book.”

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan refused Tuesday’s Bankman-Fried’s lawyers request for oral arguments to be canceled. This was because both lawyers had settled their differences regarding the bail package. This was to prevent any inappropriate contact between witnesses or damage to encrypted social media communications.

The judge said that the arguments will go ahead as planned. He declined to immediately approve bail conditions that defense attorneys claimed prosecutors had accepted, such as exempting certain people from the proposed no-contact lists and allowing Bankman-Fried permission to make audio or video calls.

Prosecutors claimed that Bankman Fried had sent an encrypted message through the Signal texting application to General Counsel of FTX US on January 15.

“I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other. I’d love to get on a phone call sometime soon and chat,” Bankman-Fried wrote to the FTX general counsel, who isn’t named but is dubbed “Witness 1,” in the prosecutors’ letter.

Federal prosecutors told Kaplan that Bankman-Fried’s communications indicate he may be trying to influence a witness with incriminating evidence against him.

Last week, Kaplan wrote that Bankman’s-Fried’s lawyers appealed to him to interpret the message “in a benign way.” But he said their argument was not persuasive.

“In perhaps more colloquial terms, it appears to have been an effort to have both the defendant and Witness 1 sing out of the same hymn book,” Kaplan said.

Bankman-Fried could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

Kaplan stated that Bankman-Fried’s past actions raised questions about whether additional measures should be taken. Kaplan also claimed that he instructed employees to use applications whose communications were eraseable and that he had requested a telephonic response from the general counsel.

The judge stated that he had to decide whether additional measures should be taken to ensure safety from Bankman Fried’s efforts to influence or tamper witnesses.

Bankman-Fried (30) has been held with electronic monitoring at his parents’ Palo Alto home since December arrest. charges that he cheated investors He also claimed that he took customer deposits from his cryptocurrency trading platform in order to finance political donations as well as make risky trades at Alameda Research.

He has pleaded innocent. A tentative date has been set for October to begin the trial.

Lawyers representing Bankman-Fried appealed Kaplan’s decision to release the names and addresses of two individuals who were bound by Bankman-Fried’s $250,000,000 personal recognizance bond. Until the appeal is heard, the names will not be made public.

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