According to a recent report by Reuters, Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO and founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has had his bail conditions tightened by a US judge following allegations of witness tampering.
While the judge declined to jail Bankman-Fried immediately, he imposed a “gag order” requested by prosecutors and gave both sides until August 3 to submit written statements detailing their positions.
FTX Founder Accused Of Witness Tampering By U.S. Prosecutors
Per the report, U.S. Prosecutors had requested that Bankman-Fried be jailed, accusing him of crossing a line by sharing the personal writings of his former partner, Caroline Ellison, with a journalist. This was said to be a second instance of witness tampering.
Bankman-Fried is facing trial over the collapse of FTX, with prosecutors alleging that he stole billions of dollars in customer funds to plug losses at his crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ellison, who was Alameda’s former CEO, has pleaded guilty to fraud charges and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Bankman-Fried has mainly been confined to his parent’s home in California since his extradition from the Bahamas in December 2020, where FTX was based.
However, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Mark Cohen argued that his client was merely trying to protect his reputation through his contacts with journalists and that it would be challenging to prepare for trial if he were jailed.
Overall, investors and industry participants will closely watch the outcome of Bankman-Fried’s case. The FTX former CEO is a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world, and his case will serve as a key test of the industry’s legal and regulatory framework.
Featured image from Unsplash, chart from TradingView.com