US prosecutors with the Department of Justice want to retract Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail and move him to prison.
They’re alleging the FTX founder has tried to influence witnesses on several occasions.
US Department of Justice increases efforts to imprison Sam Bankman-Fried
Prosecutors have filed a written submission to a federal judge after already seeking his detention.
This came after Bankman-Fried shared diaries from his ex-girlfriend and former CEO of Alameda Research, Caroline Ellison.
They say the release of Ellison’s writings counts as tampering with witnesses. Prosecutors view it as a way of trying to harass her and influence her testimony against him in court. Ellison has already pleaded guilty to the charges against her.
Another thing they pointed out is that SBF contacted several potential witnesses against him. When doing so, he changed his location using a VPN to prevent monitoring.
This wasn’t the first time prosecutors mentioned his use of a virtual private network in court.
US prosecutors have already raised concerns over his VPN use in February. He then claimed he did it to watch the Super Bowl LVII game.
Before that, prosecutors said he sent encrypted messages to potential witnesses. They claimed that he previously used the autodelete function on Signal and Slack to get rid of the evidence.
Following his interview with the New York Times on July 20 and conversations with witnesses, prosecutors have again brought up the topic of SBF’s VPN use.
Commenting on the release of Ellison’s diaries, his attorneys have responded by saying that he has a right to defend himself and speak with reporters. They have until August 1 to send an official response to the court.
SBF pleaded not guilty to all eight counts of criminal charges against him. He has been accused of stealing billions of dollars from his FTX customers.
He allegedly funneled some of the money to politicians and used it to fund risky bets at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
His former business partners, including Ellison, have already pleaded guilty to charges against them and are cooperating in the investigation.
Bankman-Fried admits to mishandling his business but denies stealing money from his customers.
He’s currently out on a $250 million bond, awaiting trial in October. If convicted, SBF could receive a sentence of up to 155 years in prison.