Feb 16, 2023

US Prosecutors Seek to Restrict Bankman-Fried’s Gaming

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of crypto exchange FTX, may soon be unable to play popular video games such as League of Legends if recently proposed bail conditions are accepted by United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan.

In a Feb. 15 letter, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams asked the court to impose further restrictions on Bankman-Fried’s electronic device usage, citing his recent attempts to circumvent existing bail conditions.

The prosecutors proposed a ban on Bankman-Fried’s use of cellphones, tablets, computers, or the internet, with limited exceptions such as reviewing pre-trial evidence, communicating with lawyers, and accessing emails.

The restrictions would also limit Bankman-Fried to one computer and one cell phone, which would be monitored using a “pen register” — a device or process that records phone numbers or internet addresses contacted from a specific source.

The former CEO is known to be an avid gamer, often playing online video games during fundraising rounds while at FTX. In a Nov. 13 interview with the New York Times, Bankman-Fried mentioned that he likes to play games to “unwind a bit” and clear his mind.

The proposed bail conditions, however, appear to put an end to Bankman-Fried’s gaming activities.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department also prohibited Bankman-Fried from using encrypted messaging apps after he was found to have contacted potential witnesses in his criminal case.

He was also temporarily banned from using VPNs on Feb. 14, after it was discovered that he had used a VPN on two occasions to watch sports coverage. This ban will be further discussed during a Feb. 16 hearing.

The crypto community has expressed their disapproval of the initial conditions of Bankman-Fried’s bail, which allowed him to use computers and the internet from his parents’ luxurious home in California, while requiring him to wear an ankle bracelet.

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