In a letter signed by Mark Cohen, an attorney for Sam Bankman-Fried, on February 6, the disgraced entrepreneur’s legal team and the prosecution reached an agreement to amend the former FTX CEO’s bail conditions about accessing electronic communications.
Sam Bankman-Fried to be allowed to access messaging apps
Both parties agreed, according to a court document, that SBF will not be permitted to use any encrypted or ephemeral calls from a messaging app, including but not limited to Signal.
However, under the arrangement, Sam Bankman-Fried will be given access to FaceTime, Zoom, iMessage, SMS text messages, email, and Facebook Messenger, as most of these were not originally encrypted.
He will also be permitted to use WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging app, but only if monitoring software is put on his phone that continuously records and saves all WhatsApp conversations.
In addition, Cohen stated that he would revoke his demand for Bankman-Fried to be given access to the transfer of cryptocurrencies if U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the communications arrangement.
“If the court approves the conditions, the defense will withdraw its request to remove the asset transfer condition, and we respectfully request that the court cancel the oral argument scheduled for February 9, 2023.”
Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in December, following the demise of FTX. He was afterward released on a $250 million bond and told to reside with his parents in California after pleading not guilty to stealing billions of dollars from the now-defunct global crypto exchange.
Prosecutors and a number of investors in the crypto industry have both claimed that he stole billions of dollars in FTX client cash to cover losses at Alameda.
Two former coworkers have admitted guilt in the US and are cooperating with the prosecutor, but SBF is still trying to establish his innocence.
FTX’s collapse, according to Bankman-Fried, was caused by a lack of liquidity; he did not steal money, he said, though he has acknowledged risk management faults.
However, this most recent deal was reached as a result of a push made by federal prosecutors in late January to prevent Sam Bankman-Fried from getting in touch with current or former workers of FTX or its sister trading company, Alameda Research.
Consequently, the judge temporarily restrained Bankman-Fried from reaching staff members of the affiliated firms using apps such as Signal, which let users auto-delete messages.