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Prosecutors seek bail revocation for FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried

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(NEW YORK) — Disgraced crypto executive Sam Bankman-Fried deserves to have his bail revoked and to be detained before he is tried for fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from the collapse of FTX, federal prosecutors in New York said in a new court filing.

Prosecutors balked at Bankman-Fried’s sharing with The New York Times excerpts from the personal documents of Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend, who led his Alameda Research hedge fund and who has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate.

Bankman-Fried considered those private writings of Ellison “detrimental to her” and accused him of sharing them with the newspaper “in order to affect the public’s perception of her,” prosecutors said.

The defense accused the government of drawing conclusions “without any evidence whatsoever” and relying “heavily on assumptions, unsupported inferences, and innuendo.”

Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of witness tampering.

“The record here establishes that the defendant went beyond benignly exercising a constitutional right to speak to the press—he took covert steps intended to improperly discredit a trial witness and taint the jury pool,” prosecutors said. “[T]he Government seeks the only appropriate relief consistent with the defendant’s escalating evasions of his bail conditions: that bail be revoked and the defendant be detained pending trial.”

Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to 13 charges, including fraud, conspiracy and bribery, after federal prosecutors said he misappropriated billions of dollars from FTX before it went bankrupt. Prosecutors allege he used the money to cover losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research, to buy lavish real estate and to make political donations.

Ellison pleaded guilty in December to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the court documents.

 

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