Sam Bankman-Fried's bail is revoked

August 12, 2023
Robert Ayers

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's bail has been revoked, meaning that he will be returning to jail. 

The Washington Examiner reports that Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the District Court for the Southern District of New York revoked Bankman-Fried's bail during a hearing that took place on Friday.

Bankman-Fried stands accused of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers. Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, is said to have used these funds to make up for losses suffered by his hedge fund, Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas back in December. And, ever since then, after posting a $250 million bond and pleading "not guilty," he has been under house arrest, specifically at the Palo Alto, California, home of his parents. Now, however, he is headed back to jail.

The "why?"

At the hearing that took place on Friday, the prosecution argued that Bankman-Fried attempted to intimidate a witness in his case.

The witness is his ex-girlfriend, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. Bankman-Fried is reported to have shared with a New York Times reporter some personal writings of Ellison. The prosecution argued that this "crossed a line."

The defense disagreed. Bankman-Fried's lawyer reportedly wrote:

In support of its theory that Mr. Bankman-Fried "tampered" with witnesses, the Government proffers evidence that consists of innuendo, speculation and scant facts. The Government’s showing is a far cry from the evidence presented in cases in this district where remand has been ordered in connection with alleged witness tampering, and in no way supports revocation of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s bail.

Judge Kaplan, however, sided with the prosecution.

Kaplan found that Bankman-Fried shared the information with the reporter in order "to hurt and frighten" Ellison.

Return to jail

As a result, Bankman-Fried has now been ordered by Kaplan to return to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Politico reports:

As the hearing concluded, two U.S. marshals who had been sitting directly behind Bankman-Fried approached him. He began to remove his suit jacket, tie, shoes, and watch as the marshals hovered near him.

It was expected that Bankman-Fried would appeal Kaplan's ruling, and they have. If successful, Bankman-Fried could be released from jail again.

But, if unsuccessful, according to the Examiner, "Bankman-Fried will be detained through the duration of his criminal trials."

Bankman-Fried's trial is currently scheduled to take place in October 2023. He stands accused of fraud, conspiracy, making illegal campaign contributions, and foreign bribery. He has pled "not guilty."

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