A federal judge overseeing the criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as “SBF,” will reportedly consider revoking the former FTX CEO’s $250 million bail based on allegations of intimidation against Caroline Ellison.
In a July 26 hearing in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, individuals on site reported Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon requested the revocation of SBF’s bail based on allegations he used his freedom to intimidate Ellison, his former romantic partner and colleague. According to Sassoon, SBF made roughly 100 calls to a reporter behind The New York Times story that revealed Ellison’s private online journals.
Judge Lewis Kaplan will reportedly accept arguments from the U.S. government on July 28 and from SBF’s legal team on Aug. 3, warning Bankman-Fried “better take it seriously.” The judge signed off on a temporary order first drafted by prosecutors which largely prevented SBF from making any extrajudicial statements until the determination of arguments on bail.
Since his arrest and indictment in December 2022, the former FTX CEO has returned to court several times to address issues related to his bail conditions, which largely require him to stay in his parents’ California home. He is already barred from using messaging apps, virtual private networks and certain technology.
SBF’s lawyer: We’ll respond by Aug 1.
Judge Kaplan: Reply August 3. I’ll docket the order. I am mindful of the First Amendment, and of the government’s interest. Mr. Bankman-Fried, you better take it seriously too.
Adjourned – story soon on https://t.co/mmos6LonY0
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 26, 2023
In response to the Department of Justice’s July 20 complaint alleging SBF attempted to interfere with a fair trial by publicly discrediting Ellison, his legal team argued Kaplan should include potential witnesses in any gag order, including current FTX CEO John Ray. Since FTX filed for bankruptcy in November 2022, Ray has often spoken to different media outlets on a variety of topics related to the failed exchange.
Bankman-Fried’s first criminal trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2, but he will likely appear in a separate trial starting in March 2024. The former FTX CEO has pleaded not guilty to all charges.