FTX founder Bankman Fried objects to tighter bail, prosecutors say ‘put him in a sandbag’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried urged a U.S. choose on Saturday to not block the accused FTX cryptocurrency govt from contacting former colleagues as a part of his bail launch, saying prosecutors had “sandbagged” their placement course of. The shopper is within the “worst potential gentle”.

The legal professionals had been responding to a request Friday night time by federal prosecutors to not enable Bankman Fried to talk with most workers of FTX or its Alameda Analysis hedge fund with out attorneys current, or to make use of encrypted messaging apps Sign or Slack and probably delete messages routinely.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has been launched from $250 million in bonds since he pleaded not responsible to fraud costs in plundering billions of {dollars} from the now-bankrupt FTX.

Prosecutors stated their request was in response to latest efforts by Bankman-Fried to contact a possible witness towards him, the final counsel of an FTX subsidiary, and was crucial to stop witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

However in a letter to U.S. District Choose Louis Kaplan in Manhattan, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys stated plaintiffs referred to as the bail phrases “free” with out disclosing that the 2 sides had been discussing bail for the previous week.

“Fairly than await any response from the protection, the federal government sandbagged the method, presenting this letter at 6:00 p.m. on Friday,” Bankman-Fried’s attorneys wrote. “The federal government apparently believes {that a} one-sided presentation – which is being spun to place our shopper within the worst potential gentle – is one of the simplest ways to get the outcome it seeks.”

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys additionally stated their shopper’s efforts to contact the final counsel and John Ray, who was named CEO of FTX throughout the chapter, had been makes an attempt to supply “assist” quite than intervention.

A spokesman for US Legal professional Common Damian Williams in Manhattan declined to remark.

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys have urged that their shopper have entry to some associates, together with his handler, however not be allowed to talk with Carolyn Ellison and Zixiao “Gary” Wang, who’ve pleaded responsible and are cooperating with prosecutors.

They stated banning the point out was not crucial as a result of Bankman-Fried doesn’t use the auto-delete function, and the priority that it may be “unfounded”.

The legal professionals additionally requested that the bail clause barring Bankman-Fried from accessing FTX, Alameda’s or cryptocurrency property be revoked, saying there was “no proof” that it was liable for previous unauthorized transactions.

In Saturday’s order, Kaplan gave prosecutors till Monday to handle Bankman-Fried’s considerations.

“The court docket expects all legal professionals to chorus from pejorative characterizations of their opponents’ actions and motives,” the choose added.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel) in New York. Modifying by Andrea Ricci

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.