Greater Restrictions Put in Place for Sam Bankman-Frieds Interactions

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency firm FTX, had his restrictions extended by a federal judge on Tuesday. The restrictions were put in place in order to prevent Bankman-Fried from contacting any former employees of FTX, as the government fears he may attempt to delete text messages or obstruct the investigation in some way.

Judge Lewis Kaplan expressed concern about the delete functions in certain messaging apps, and requested more information from Bankman-Fried’s attorneys on how they plan to preserve their client’s communications while he awaits trial on federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

Bankman-Fried, a Stanford graduate, is accused of stealing $11 million from his clients.
Stanford graduate Bankman-Fried is accused of stealing $11 million from his clients. He has pleaded not guilty and is under house arrest on a $250 million bond, residing in his parents’ Palo Alto, California, home, while he awaits trial.

Greater Restrictions Put in Place for Sam Bankman-Frieds Interactions

Thursday’s hearing came after prosecutors raised concerns about potential witness tampering, citing a text message Bankman-Fried sent to the former general counsel of FTX, the bankrupt crypto exchange. Bankman-Fried’s text message to the former general counsel of FTX has raised concerns about potential witness tampering.

Both sides were in court Thursday after Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said they reached an agreement with prosecutors to restrict the use of encrypted messages. Under its terms, Bankman-Fried would not be permitted to use encrypted messaging apps, such as Signal, that the government can’t easily obtain information from. But he would be allowed to use FaceTime and Zoom to place audio and video calls, and text using iPhone messages, email and Facebook messenger, and his messages would be archived.

The skeptical judge wanted to know more about how the government could retrieve deleted messages from other apps. “What about good old-fashioned letters? I’ve read recently that 57 letters written by Mary Queen of Scots dating to the 1500s were recently deciphered.”

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys said they have identified a company that makes a compliance application that archives messages. But the judge asked the attorneys for more information, and said the restrictions on Bankman-Fried’s communications would continue until a follow-up hearing on February 21.

Hi Witness-1,
I hope you’re doing well! It’s been a while since we talked and I wanted to reach out and see if there’s any way we can repair our relationship. I know things haven’t been great between us, but I really think there’s potential for us to be constructive resources for each other. I’d love to chat on the phone sometime soon and see if we can work things out.

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