According to court filings from January 28, Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team is attempting to have a bail condition that prevents him from accessing FTX funds lifted.
According to a letter from Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Mark Cohen to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried should be granted access to FTX assets because the client was not involved in previous unauthorized transactions.
Bankman-Fried, who resigned as FTX’s CEO on November 11, 2022, when the crypto exchange declared bankruptcy, is currently on bail facing wire fraud and money laundering charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
According to Nansen data, FTX and FTX US have sought over $659 million in unauthorized transfers following the cryptocurrency exchange’s collapse in November 2022.
At the first court hearing on January 3, Bankman-Fried was barred from accessing crypto held by FTX and its trading arm, Alameda Research, after the govt pointed to illegal transfers from Alameda wallets.
Crypto purchased with FTX or Alameda funds is included in the bar. Prosecutors acknowledged at the time that there was no evidence that Mr Bankman-Fried had transferred funds and that a federal investigation was underway.
Cohen noted in the January 28 letter that it had been nearly three weeks since the initial pretrial conference. Furthermore, he maintained his belief that the government’s investigation had proven Mr Bankman-claims Fried’s all along—that not accessing or transferring these assets was indeed true.
Nearly three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference and we assume that the Government’s investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely,
that he did not access and transfer these assets,” the letter read, noting that the proposed new bail conditions are “an apparent effort to portray our client [SBF] in the worst possible light.
The US Department of Justice requested a communications ban as an additional bail condition in a January 27 filing, claiming that Bankman-Fried had attempted to contact FTX’s General Counsel Ryne Miller, a potential witness in the case.
Given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed,” Cohen added.
According to the letter, Bankman-Fried should have unrestricted contact with his father, therapist, and any employee or agent of a foreign regulator outside the presence of attorneys.