Feb 17, 2023

FTX CEO’s Bail Revocation “Conceivably” Possible

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, could potentially have his bail revoked, according to a federal judge. During a hearing on Feb. 16, Judge Lewis Kaplan voiced his belief that there was “probable cause” to believe Bankman-Fried may have engaged in attempted witness tampering. Kaplan noted that the hearing was not a bail revocation hearing, but mentioned that it “could get there, conceivably.”

The hearing was held after prosecutors asked Judge Kaplan to further restrict and monitor Bankman-Fried’s device usage. They cited his recent device usage as cause for concern, seeking to limit it to a single monitored computer and cellphone. Kaplan suggested that it was naive to believe these restrictions would stop Bankman-Fried from using the internet, given that he is living with his two parents, who both have laptops and cellphones.

Law professor Richard Painter echoed the sentiment in a Feb. 17 tweet, suggesting that witness tampering might not be a good idea given Bankman-Fried’s current circumstances.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued that they need him to be able to work on his defense, claiming: “We cannot go through these extensive financial records without him.”

Since Feb. 9, Bankman-Fried has been prohibited from using certain messaging apps after he was found to have contacted potential witnesses. He was also temporarily banned from using a VPN after prosecutors accused him of using it on two occasions, on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12. The VPN ban was not extended at the Feb. 16 hearing.

The crypto community has been following Bankman-Fried’s case closely, with many expressing disbelief that his bail has not yet been revoked.

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