Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried spends 3rd day in jail ahead of October trial

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Disgraced FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried who moved his multi-million dollar crypto empire to the Bahamas in 2021, is on a third night at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after he violated his bail order.

The 31-year-old who adopted the Bahamas as his home, courting government officials before his empire imploded and was extradited to face fraud charges in the United States, tampered with witnesses ahead of his October trial according to Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

PHOTOS: Inside Brooklyn's House of Detention Jail - THE CITY

“My conclusion is there is probable cause to believe the defendant has attempted to tamper with witnesses on at least two… there is a rebuttable presumption that there is no set of conditions that will ensure Bankman-Fried will not be a danger.

“He has gone up to the line over and over again, and I am going to revoke bail,” Judge Kaplan said on Friday.

Since his extradition, Bankman-Fried was on bail and confined to his parent’s $4 million Palo Alto home.

What happened?

Prosecutors said, Bankman-Fried reached out to former FTX.US General Counsel Ryne Miller and used a virtual private network to watch the Super Bowl. Also, he shared part of his associate’s Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s private diary with the New York Times in an attempt to intimate her since she is a major witness for the prosecution in the case.

While on bail, prosecutors said he’s had conversations with author Michael Lewis, who is writing a book about FTX that is set for publication the week the trial begins.

After the judge’s order, Bankman-Fried was instructed to remove his navy suit jacket as two US marshalls prepared to handcuff him. His mother, Barbara Fried, attempted to approach him but was warned to stand back by a court officer and was expected to be taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Sam Bankman-Fried's parents walking out of the court on Aug 11, 2023. (Victor Chen/CoinDesk)
Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents walking out of the court on Aug 11, 2023. (Victor Chen/CoinDesk)

The big story

After moving his exchange from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried flooded the Bahamas with money and donations. A little more than one year later, the millions of dollars disappeared from his exchange and it collapsed. He filed for bankruptcy.

Bankman-Fried’s trial is set for October as he faces charges of wire fraud, commodities fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and related conspiracy charges.

The industry titan courted by politicians and celebrities is now a criminal defendant facing years in prison.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said in court, he was protecting his reputation and intended to appeal.

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