The founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, may have his bail withdrawn after a federal judge found “probable cause” to suspect the former FTX CEO of trying to tamper with witnesses.
Bankman-Fried’s bail terms were discussed in court on February 16; according to multiple sources, Judge Lewis Kaplan stated that,
“There was probable cause to believe that he [Bankman-Fried] has committed or attempted to commit a federal felony while on release, namely witness tampering.”
Hey Crypto Bro:
Witness tampering while out on bail is a great way to go right back to jail.https://t.co/t3aSjXTgko
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) February 17, 2023
For the first time, the judge suggested that imprisonment could be the only way to prevent Bankman-Fried from outwitting the authorities by finding methods to utilize technological gadgets in a way that cannot be tracked.
The judge wants to make it tight for SBF
Kaplan said that it was unreasonable to think that limiting SBF’s internet access or keeping an eye on his gadgets would prevent him from accessing the internet.
Nicholas Roos, the prosecutor, admitted this and said he wasn’t sure whether there was a good answer.
The judge responded,
“There is a solution, but it’s not one anybody has proposed yet.”
He pointed out that even under any additional regulations put on his release terms, the government might not be able to track numerous gadgets in SBF’s parents’ home while insinuating that the bail may be withdrawn.
“Why am I being asked to set him loose in this garden of electronic devices?” he asked prosecutors.
Even Sam Bankman-Fried, the failed cryptocurrency businessman who has pleaded innocent to federal fraud and conspiracy charges, may be dragged from his parents’ Palo Alto, California, home and detained, according to Kaplan. He said that although this was not a hearing to revoke bail, it “could get there, conceivably.”
A more “radical alternative,” as per Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos, would be to prohibit Bankman-Fried from using any electronic devices, but he noted that if that were to happen, it would be impossible for him to prepare for a trial that is slated to take place in October. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 115 years in prison.
Regarding the final bail restrictions, the judge said,
“I want it to be tight, not just tight in characterization, but really tight.”
However, withdrawing bail would leave Bankman-Fried in a New York jail, a long distance from his parents’ multimillion-dollar California building near Stanford University. Many affected investors would also probably be glad if the $250 million bail bond is eventually revoked.