Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried may face a denial of bail as the United States Attorneys Office has expressed concerns about alleged witness tampering. Prosecutors argued that releasing SBF could put the safety of witnesses at risk especially considering his appeal against the initial bail revocation, which they deemed as 'meritless.'
The prosecution presented two instances where Bankman Fried was believed to have engaged in witness tampering, both of which violate court orders. In January, it was reported that he reached out to a trial witness who happened to be the former General Counsel of FTX.US. In July 2023, a widely publicized incident occurred when Bankman Fried deliberately leaked private journal messages belonging to Caroline Ellison, the former CEO associated with him. Prosecutors allege that this was a move intended to discredit her and influence the jury during the trial.
On July 26, prosecutors successfully had Bankman Fried's bail revoked due to these alleged violations and his attempts to contact witnesses. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan granted this bail revocation, marking a turning point in the case. Subsequently, Bankman Fried's defense filed an appeal on August 28 arguing for First Amendment rights concerning discussions about Ellison, with the press. However, prosecutors countered by stating that such actions can be considered criminal when they are aimed at intimidating witnesses.
Prosecutors argue that the District Court made the decision in determining there was enough evidence to support the allegation of witness tampering against Bankman Fried, and Judge Kaplan's ruling was justified.
The ongoing legal dispute is drawing public interest as Bankman Fried's fate hangs in the balance due to these serious charges. The refusal of bail emphasizes the seriousness of the situation, and people around the world are closely following this high-profile case as it unfolds.