Justice Dept defends motion to bar SBF from accessing FTX, Alameda assets
United States prosecutors in the criminal case against former FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried have released text and email messages from SBF to current CEO John Ray.
In court documents for the Southern District of New York released on Jan. 30, the Justice Department responded to a motion from Bankman-Fried’s legal team attempting to remove some of the proposed modifications for his bail conditions, which included barring contact with former and current FTX employees. According to prosecutors, SBF attempted to contact both current FTX CEO John Ray and FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller.
In an email to Ray on Jan. 2, Bankman-Fried said he hadn’t gotten off “on the right foot” and offered to meet the FTX CEO in person in New York City — he was allowed to leave his parents’ California home to appear in court and enter his not-guilty plea. The message followed one from Dec. 30, in which SBF cited a Cointelegraph report in an attempt to address the status of funds tied to Alameda wallets:
“I myself can’t access the funds, but I suspect that your team likely has the ability to move and safeguard these funds […] I would be happy to talk about the ways you likely are able to access them if helpful.”
Bankman-Fried claimed in his Jan. 12 “pre-mortem overview” of FTX’s collapse that law firm Sullivan & Crowell and the FTX US general counsel pressured him into naming Ray as his successor. Ray previously responded to claims from SBF regarding FTX as the former CEO having “no ongoing role” at the firm or its subsidiaries and “does not speak on their behalf”.
Related: SBF allegedly used FTX money to invest $400M in obscure VC firm
Filings from Jan. 27 showed Bankman-Fried attempted to reach out to Miller, allegedly to “influence” his testimony in the criminal case. This prompted prosecutors to file a motion, amending SBF’s bail conditions to prevent contact with FTX employees and using encrypted messaging applications like Signal. The Jan. 30 filing included a proposed prohibition on SBF “accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency”.
Bankruptcy proceedings for FTX are moving forward in the District of Delaware, while SBF’s criminal trial is scheduled to begin in October.