On Saturday, Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) lawyer said his client did not try to influence a witness in the US government’s fraud case against him. He claimed that prosecutors attempted to paint him in the worst light possible.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, requested that his client be allowed to interact with some of the individuals involved in FTX before he was sentenced. He claims that SBF must act at his trial. This case has a general counsel of FTX US as a witness. Bankman-Fried’s attempt to contact its representative via Signal, according to Cohen, was merely a benign effort at providing aid during FTX’s bankruptcy procedure. This also does not apply to conduct that would justify the government’s proposed restriction.
Let’s Dive Right Into the Text and Its Implications
SBF has pleaded not guilty to fraud. However, federal prosecutors asked a judge on Friday to impose new bail restrictions on him after he communicated with the FTX worker.
“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,” Bankman-Fried said in a Signal communication and email to employee “witness 1” on January 15.
Prosecutors saw it as an attempt to influence the witness’s upcoming testimony. Except for his father, they requested that Bankman-Fried be prohibited from contacting current and former FTX workers. He added that these interactions should occur in the presence of legal counsel. The government has also requested to limit Bankman-Fried’s use of encrypted messaging applications.
Bankman-Fried utilized the auto-delete function on Slack and Signal to do FTX business, according to prosecutors. They claim the inquiry uncovered that he used it for “incriminating discussions.”
The prosecution’s announcement on Friday night caught Bankman-Fried’s legal team off guard. Over a week has passed since the two sides had discussions about imposing additional limitations that they all agreed upon.