FTX’s SBF Denies Witness Tampering but Willing to Accept Gag Order on One Condition

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has responded to accusations of witness tampering.

Sam Bankman-Fried is trying to convince the judge by telepathic means.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has responded to accusations of witness tampering.
  • Despite confirming that he spoke to and shared documents with journalists about Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried denies any wrongdoing.
  • The former FTX chief has nonetheless expressed willingness to submit to a gag order on one condition.

On July 20, the New York Times published a piece taking a deep dive into the private musings of former Alameda Research Chief Executive Officer Caroline Ellison in the months leading up to FTX’s collapse. The piece laid bare the angst the former Alameda CEO felt for the now disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).

After the New York Times published the piece, prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of leaking the former Alameda chief’s diary to discredit her as a witness ahead of his long-awaited criminal trial. They further requested a court order barring the disgraced FTX founder from making extrajudicial statements that could influence the case’s outcome.

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Through his lawyers, Bankman-Fried has responded to the prosecution’s claims, denying wrongdoing but expressing a willingness to submit to the gag order if a specific condition is met.

Misery Loves Company

Bankman-Fried has denied any wrongdoing despite admitting to discussing with and sharing documents not included in discovery with New York Times reporters. The disgraced FTX founder’s lawyers countering claims of witness tampering instead described his actions as “fair comment” in a newly filed letter in the case dated July 22.

"... none of what occurred was improper. Mr. Bankman-Fried did not violate the protective order in this case, nor did he violate his bail conditions, nor did he violate any law or rule governing his conduct," they argued.

However, despite maintaining that the former FTX chief had not breached the law, his lawyers have asserted that he is willing to concede to the gag order so long as the same restriction binds other witnesses, including FTX restructuring officer John J. Ray III.

They argued that unlike how Bankman-Fried has been accused of attempting to taint the jury pool, the government has remained silent about Ray’s often disparaging remarks about the FTX founder. The FTX restructuring officer’s reports have revealed a lack of corporate controls and pervasiveness of funds mismanagement.

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The court is set to hold a hearing on the gag order on Wednesday, July 26. 

Bankman-Fried faces over 100 years in prison if found guilty of charges of fraud, bribery, money laundering, and unlawful political contributions.

On the Flipside

  • Caroline Ellison is among former FTX and Alameda executives who pleaded guilty to similar fraud charges.
  • Bankman-Fried maintains that he is not responsible for any wrongdoing leading to the FTX collapse.

Why This Matters

FTX was among the largest crypto exchanges by trading volume at its peak. As such, the outcome of Bankman-Fried’s fraud case is of interest to several investors in the space, particularly those who lost money with the exchange’s collapse. Prosecutors argue that the disgraced FTX founder’s recent actions risk influencing this outcome. On the other hand, Bankman-Fried may be looking to limit adverse reports ahead of the trial.

FTX is suing Bankman-Fried and other former executives for $1 billion. Find out more in this deep dive:

Unraveling FTX’s $1 Billion Lawsuit Against SBF and Associates

Learn about the latest development in the SEC case against Coinbase:

SEC Trades Blows with Coinbase, Secures Extended Deadline

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.