U.S. Attorneys want to restrict FTX founder and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s access to encrypted messaging services and bar communication with former FTX and Alameda employees, after prosecutors suggested he was trying to influence witnesses, according to court documents.
U.S. prosecutors contend Bankman-Fried’s messages were “suggestive of an effort to influence” the testimony of a witness. The witness is said to have received instructions via encryption messaging app Signal for “liquidating Alameda’s investments to satisfy FTX customer withdrawals” to cover a $45 million hole in FTX US’s balance sheet in November.
“I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other,” SBF wrote to “Witness-1” on Jan. 15.
“This is particularly concerning given that the defendant is aware that Witness-1 has information that would tend to inculpate the defendant,” the document said. “The appeal for a ‘constructive relationship’ likewise
implies that Witness-1 should align with the defendant. This is particularly concerning given that the defendant is aware that Witness-1 has information that would tend to inculpate the defendant.”
He also communicated directly with the current general counsel of FTX US, who officials contend may be a trial witness.
Bankman-Fried made contact with other current and former FTX employees over email and via Signal, which is consistent with “a history of using the application for obstructive purposes,” the document said.
The disgraced CEO’s current bond imposes no limitations in terms of contacting prospective witnesses in the ongoing case.
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