SBF Wants to Access FTX Funds Despite the Bail Condition

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SBF requested to access his FTX funds, even though his bail condition does not allow him to do so. 

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is making a legal effort to regain access to the company’s funds. Hence, his legal team is challenging a bail condition that prevents him from accessing the funds, according to court filings from January 28th.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, submitted a letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan. He stated that his client should be able to access assets held by FTX. He argues that SBF was not involved in any previous unauthorized transactions. The letter references the $659 million in unauthorized transfers that occurred amid the collapse of the exchange in November 2022. Bankman-Fried denies any involvement in these transactions.

According to the letter, authorities request that Bankman-Fried is barred from accessing or transferring any assets or cryptocurrency linked to FTX or Alameda, as per the first court hearing held on January 3rd. At that time, prosecutors acknowledged that there was no strong evidence that Bankman-Fried had transferred funds. But, they noted that a federal probe was underway.

It has been nearly three weeks since the initial pretrial conference. According to the letter, the government’s investigation has confirmed Bankman-Fried’s claim that he did not access or transfer any assets. The defense also stated that they had immediately notified authorities as soon as they became aware of the transfers.

Moreover, Cohen’s letter argues that since the sole basis for the bail condition has not been supported, the bail condition should be removed. Furthermore, the letter addresses a request from January 27th by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) prohibiting Bankman-Fried from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX or Alameda Research without his attorney’s presence.

SBF Contacted the General Counsel of FTX

The prosecutor’s request was made after Bankman-Fried allegedly attempted to contact Ryne Miller, the current General Counsel of FTX US. Prosecutors believe that SBF tried to “influence” Miller’s testimony.

Cohen’s letter argues that Bankman-Fried should have unlimited contact with his father, therapist, and any employee or agent of a foreign regulator outside the presence of attorneys. The defense stated:

Therefore, if the proposed condition were to be implemented, Sam Bankman-Fried would be unable to speak to his therapist without the presence of his lawyers. That is because the therapist previously worked for FTX. Moreover, public sources reveal that FTX and Alameda had around 350 employees, all of whom could possess information essential to Bankman-Fried’s defense. Imposing this condition would put a strain on his resources and negatively impact his ability to defend the case.

On November 11th, FTX filed for bankruptcy protection and Bankman-Fried resigned as the company’s CEO. Currently, he is on bail at his California family house and faces eight charges, including wire fraud and money laundering.

As the legal battle continues, the crypto community is closely following the developments in this case. As the industry continues to grow, all parties involved must follow proper protocols and regulations. The allegations against SBF are serious and likely true as the crypto community believes. It will be interesting to see whether the court decides to let SBF access FTX funds.

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