The days Sam Bankman-Fried spent at his parents' house have been counted.
In a sudden development within the crypto world, the former crypto exchange FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been placed under arrest after his bail was revoked by the court.
During a hearing at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on August 11th, Judge Lewis Kaplan responded to calls from prosecutors to withdraw the $250 million bail that had been keeping SBF out of prison since his initial hearing in December 2022.
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Kaplan's decision stems from SBF's apparent attempt to intimidate Caroline Ellison, his ex-colleague and past romantic partner, and the previous CEO of Alameda Research. Notably, it seems that information shared with the New York Times by Bankman-Fried played a role in this decision. As per his legal representatives, some of the published details were indeed provided by SBF.
Assistant US Attorney Danielle Sassoon presented multiple instances where Bankman-Fried possibly violated the terms of his bail. Sassoon emphasized acts like SBF's messages to FTX US's chief legal advisor, Ryne Miller, on the encrypted Signal app, use of a VPN, and his release of information to journalists with an alleged motive to threaten Ellison. She noted:
Just because the defendant was more subtle than a mobster doesn’t mean it's okay. It's enough for the court to conclude detention is appropriate if he’s unlikely to abide by his bail conditions.
Mark Cohen, representing Bankman-Fried, urged Judge Kaplan to allow his client to maintain bail conditions, emphasizing the need for SBF to coordinate with the legal team. He stated that allegations around intimidating witnesses should be left for the October trial.
Nevertheless, Judge Kaplan was steadfast, expressing:
In view of the evidence, my conclusion is that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has attempted to tamper with witnesses at least twice. All things considered, I am going to revoke bail.
Consequently, SBF was taken into custody, likely at the Putnam County Correctional Facility. The place is believed to change in October, with a possible transfer to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center for the commencement of his trial.
It's anticipated that Sam Bankman-Fried will face a series of legal challenges, with 12 criminal charges spread across two trials in October 2023 and March 2024. And while prosecutors had contemplated dropping charges regarding campaign finance law breaches, the prosecutors revealed an intent on August 8th to treat the suspected scheme as part of a wire fraud charge.