Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal team is seeking to remove a condition of his bail that prevented him from accessing FTX funds, according to court documents dated Jan. 28.
A letter from Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan asserted that Bankman-Fried should have access to FTX’s assets, arguing that the client was not involved in a series of unauthorized transactions. authorized in the past.
FTX and FTX US have sought more than $659 million in unauthorized transfers amid the cryptocurrency exchange’s November 2022 crash, according to Nansen data reported by Cointelegraph. Bankman-Fried denied any involvement in the transactions.
According to the letter sent to Judge Kaplan, Bankman-Fried was “prohibited from accessing or transferring any assets or cryptocurrency of FTX or Alameda, including assets or cryptocurrency purchased with funds from the companies,” as requested by US authorities at the first hearing. court held on January 3. At the time, prosecutors acknowledged that there was no evidence that Bankman-Fried had transferred funds and noted that a federal investigation was underway.
“Almost three weeks have passed since the initial pre-trial conference and we assume that the government investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along, namely that he did not access or transfer these assets,” it says. the letter, which indicates that the defense notified the authorities “as soon as we became aware of the transfers to notify them.”
Furthermore, the lawyers argued that:
“Since the sole basis for requesting such a condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be withdrawn.”
In addition, the letter addresses a January 27 petition from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that prohibits Bankman-Fried from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX or Alameda Research without their attorney present.
The prosecutor’s request was made after Bankman-Fried allegedly contacted Ryne Miller, current general counsel of FTX US, via Signal via email on January 15, attempting to “sway” the testimony of Miller.
According to Cohen’s letter, Bankman-Fried must have unrestricted contact with her father, therapist and any employees or agents of a foreign regulator outside of the presence of attorneys. The defense stated:
“For example, it would mean that Mr. Bankman-Fried would not be able to speak to his therapist, who is a former FTX employee, without the involvement of his attorneys. According to public sources, FTX and Alameda had approximately 350 employees. Each of these employees current and former employees could hold information crucial to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s defense Requiring Mr. Bankman-Fried to include his attorney in every communication with a former or current FTX employee would place an unnecessary strain on his resources and impair his ability to defend this case.”
On November 11, FTX filed for bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried stepped down as CEO of the company. Currently out on bail at his parents’ home in California, Bankman-Fried faces eight charges, including wire fraud and money laundering.
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