- What – Following recent reports, the court will revoke Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail over several misconducts.
- Why – SBF has been under house arrest at his parent’s house till the trial in October 2023, after his $250 million bail.
- What Next – Meanwhile, discussions are ongoing to determine whether the court will add more conditions to the bail terms.
Reports noted that a federal judge presiding over former CEO of FTX case hinted at bail reversal due to attempts to fault bail conditions.
Court Discusses Amendments to SBF’s Bail Terms
On February 16 hearing, Judge Lewis Kaplan said there was cause to believe that Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to commit a federal felony while on bail. The judge listed his offence, which includes attempts to tamper with witnesses.
While on Bail, SBF has been actively posting tweets, sharing his view on the bankrupt exchange FTX. He also attempted to contact the current CEO, John Ray, including former employees, trying to “sort things out.”
Given these observations, prosecutors were concerned that SBF might commit a felony, so they asked the judge to restrict his computers and internet access. In addition, the prosecutors argued that SBF used a virtual private network (VPN) to make connections. They were concerned that these loopholes could cover his tracks while contacting people and allow him to circumvent bail conditions.
Prosecutors To Watch SBF Like Hawks
However, CNN reported that SBF’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, acknowledged the need for a close watch on his client while responding to the prosecutors’ motion. But the lawyer requested leniency on SBF while the court discussed possible actions regarding the bail terms. Cohen argued that his client’s input aims to build a defence for the case.
According to Cohen, SBF would need the internet to access FTX’s financial records while trying to gather evidence to defend himself. However, he added that it would be hard to access the financial records without SBF’s input.
Nevertheless, the judge’s opinion remains immaterial since the prosecutors’ request was not a full proposal to the court. But Judge Kaplan proposed a security expert’s opinion.
The security expert would help the judge assess the implications of SBF’s electronic device and internet usage and offer advice on technical matters. However, the defence will bear the cost of paying the expert’s wage.
The prosecution proposed new conditions to allow SBF access to only his Gmail account and Zoom to communicate with his lawyers. If the court approves this proposal, SBF will no longer have access to voice calls and text messages.
FTX Negotiates Recovery Of $400 Million From Modulo Hedge Fund
In another report, the New York Times revealed that FTX is negotiating with Modulo Capital to recover a $400 million SBF investment in hedge fund firm Modulo Capital. The report noted that Modulo Capital received the highest single investment from SBF shortly after the FTX implosion.
In attempts to gather funds to repay embittered customers, the fallen crypto exchange and its lawyers want to take back the $400 million from Modulo. However, the alleged funds still sit in a JPMorgan Chase account. According to the report, JPMorgan bank is the hedge fund’s broker. Meanwhile, the bank has yet to respond to reporters’ requests for comment.
Although Modulo’s founders, Duncan Rheingans-Yoo and Xiaoyun Zhang, have no past criminal record, their ties with SBF raised prosecutors’ eyebrows.
Interestingly, Sam Bankman-Fried was Modulo’s only investor and transferred the $400 million shortly before the FTX liquidity crunch. The events surrounding the $400 million transfer pose doubts among the Modulo founders’ dealings with SBF.
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