Bankman-Fried Agrees To Gag Order Amid Explosive Witness Tampering Accusations
- FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried complies with gag order amid fraud trial.
- US government alleges witness tampering based on his remarks about a key witness.
- Trial is to begin on October 3, attracting significant attention in the cryptocurrency community.
In the midst of an ongoing criminal fraud case, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has consented to a court-ordered “gag order” aimed at restricting him from making any public statements that could potentially influence the trial’s outcome.
SBF’s legal team firmly denied the prosecution’s claims, refuting any allegations of witness tampering. Nevertheless, they decided to accept the gag order to avoid any appearance of impropriety and to comply with the court’s guidelines.
The letter, which was dated July 22 and addressed to United States District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of New York, was submitted by Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Cohen & Gresser LLP. It confirmed that SBF had cooperated with the New York Times, providing personal documents that included writings from his former colleague, Caroline Ellison. Ellison, who has been cooperating with the US government, is considered a crucial witness in the FTX case and has already pleaded guilty to defrauding investors.
The New York Times article titled “Inside the Private Writings of Caroline Ellison, Star Witness in the FTX Case” revealed excerpts from Ellison’s personal Google documents, where she expressed discontent with her job and discussed her past relationship with Bankman-Fried.
The gag order aims to prevent any further statements or actions from SBF that might interfere with the ongoing trial or influence potential jurors. The trial holds significant weight, as FTX, once valued at $32 billion, filed for bankruptcy protection in November, citing an inability to repay depositors. Bankman-Fried has maintained his innocence against the fraud charges leveled against him.
Interestingly, SBF’s legal team also seeks to extend the same gag order to all potential witnesses involved in the case, including John J. Ray III, the current CEO of the FTX Debtor entities. They allege that John Ray has been making public comments and filings that attack their client and do not contribute constructively to the FTX bankruptcy proceedings. By advocating for the extension of the gag order to all parties, SBF’s lawyers hope to maintain fairness throughout the trial process.
The trial for Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud charges is scheduled to begin on October 3. As the legal proceedings unfold, the court will strive to ensure a fair and unbiased trial, with all parties adhering to the stipulated guidelines to preserve the integrity of the case.
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