Sam Bankman-Fried could be returned to prison

The bail decision in the case of the former head of FTX may be reviewed as there are “probable grounds” for suggesting that Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) tried to pressure witnesses. This statement was made by Judge Lewis Kaplan during the hearing on February 16, reports CNN.

The last meeting was not devoted to the abolition of bail. However, the judge did not rule out the possibility of considering this issue, as a result of which the measure of restraint would be changed for the founder of the exchange.

“There may well be good reason to believe that he [SBF] committed or attempted to commit a federal criminal offense,” Kaplan said.

Prosecutors have previously requested a change in the conditions of Bankman-Freed’s house arrest. Law enforcement officers suspected him of using the Signal messenger to send encrypted messages to a witness. Next, he was caught using a VPN.

During the February 16 hearing, the judge doubted that the restrictions would prevent the former head of FTX from using the Internet, given the presence of laptops and mobile phones from his parents. The prosecutor agreed with this argument, but indicated that there was no other solution. In response, Kaplan hinted that abolishing the bond could eliminate these risks:

“There is a solution, but no one has proposed it yet.”

Lawyers for Bankman-Fried called the SBF’s house arrest an important condition for building a line of defense.

“We cannot review these extensive financial documents without him,” the lawyers emphasized.

Law professor Richard Paynter noted that putting pressure on witnesses while on bail is “a great way to get back in jail.”

The founder of the crashed exchange was arrested on December 12, 2022 in the Bahamas at the request of the US government. U.S. prosecutors charged him with eight criminal offenses. The former CEO of FTX pleaded not guilty.

The court released him on $250 million bail. The guarantors were his parents and two other unnamed individuals. In January 2023, Judge Kaplan granted the media group’s motion to disclose the latter.

In February, it became known that two Stanford University professors, former law school dean Larry Kramer and senior fellow Andreas Pepke, signed the SBF bail bond.


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