- Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, reached a new bail agreement with U.S. prosecutors after a judge expressed concerns over potential tampering with electronic devices.
- The new conditions would prohibit him from using electronic communication devices, except for a new phone with limited text and call functions, and a basic laptop with monitoring software and limited user access.
Sam Bankman-Fried “SBF”, founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has reached a revised bail agreement with U.S. prosecutors. The deal follows a warning from Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing Bankman-Fried’s case, that he could be sent to jail pending trial.
Bankman-Fried’s new bail agreement details
Under the revised bail conditions, Bankman-Fried will have a new phone with no internet capability and a basic laptop with limited functions.
He will be forbidden from using other electronic communication devices, but the laptop will have monitoring software to track user activity.
The new phone’s communication functions will be limited to text messages and voice calls, with all other messaging applications prohibited.
Bankman-Fried’s parents have also agreed to restrict his access to their devices and have signed affidavits not to bring prohibited electronic devices into their home. If there’s a suspicion of a violation, the disgraced crypto figure must submit his devices for a search.
Background of the case
Bankman-Fried, 31, is set to go to trial on Oct. 2 on criminal charges of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund, and making large illegal political donations to buy influence in Washington, D.C.
He has pleaded not guilty to eight counts and has not yet been arraigned on four more. After his extradition from the Bahamas, where FTX was based, Bankman-Fried was released on a $250 million bond to home detention at his parents’ Palo Alto, California home.
In January, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Bankman-Fried attempted to contact current executives at now-bankrupt FTX, prompting concerns about witness tampering and restrictions on his internet use.
Judge Kaplan had previously expressed concerns about SBF’s home detention, including the presence of electronic devices belonging to his parents.
The rejected proposal, which would have allowed Bankman-Fried to have a flip phone with no internet capability and a laptop with limited functions, was deemed insufficient as the judge argued that Bankman-Fried could “find a way around it.”
This new agreement appears to satisfy the judge’s concerns, however, the revised bail conditions still need to be approved by Judge Kaplan before they can take effect.