SBF banned from using online messengers under new bail agreement
The story of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried continues to unfold as lawyers and the court continue to argue about SBF’s bail conditions.
SBF lawyers have reportedly reached a new bail agreement with the United States prosecutors, allowing him to stay at home while restricting the use of some electronic devices and apps.
According to a report by Reuters, the lawyers reached the new agreement on March 27 after a judge brought up the need to send SBF to jail pending trial. The new bail conditions are yet to be approved by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing Bankman-Fried’s case.
Under some of the proposed new conditions, Bankman-Fried will be reportedly prohibited from using a smartphone with internet access as well as any apps other than voice calls and text messaging. The agreement would also require SBF to use a basic laptop with limited functions and monitoring software to track user activity. The use of any other electronic communication devices is forbidden.
In a letter on Monday, SBF’s parents reportedly agreed to restrict his access to their devices, while also signing sworn affidavits to not bring prohibited electronic devices into their home. In case of a “reasonable suspicion” of a violation, SBF must submit his devices for a search.
The new agreement comes a few weeks after Judge Kaplan attempted to ban SBF from using any electronic devices and the internet as a condition of his bail. The judge argued that SBF had a “garden of electronic devices” with access to the internet available at Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried’s California home. Judge Kaplan also argued that there was “probable cause” to believe that SBF was involved in attempted witness tampering.
In early March, Kaplan reportedly expressed concerns over a proposal to put certain restrictions on SBF’s phone and other electronic devices. He specifically suggested that SBF was inventive and could find ways to evade the restrictions.
Related: FTX debtors agree to $95M sale of stake in Mysten Labs
As previously reported, SBF faces a trial set for Oct. 2, 2023, on criminal charges of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds facilitated through his Alameda Research hedge fund. He is also alleged to have made large illegal political donations. He has pleaded not guilty to eight criminal counts, which could result in 115 years in prison should he be convicted.
In December, Bankman-Fried was released on the conditions of a $250 million bond, home detention, location monitoring and the surrender of his passport. A few days later, some industry investigators spotted transactions allegedly involving SBF cashing out about $700,000 in a crypto exchange in Seychelles. The FTX founder has subsequently denied involvement in this or any other transactions that were allegedly tied to SBF or FTX.
None of these are me. I’m not and couldn’t be moving any of those funds; I don’t have access to them anymore.https://t.co/5Gkin30Ny5
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) December 30, 2022
While SBF has apparently not been banned from Twitter so far, he has been staying away from any activity on the social media platform for a while. His last visible activity on Twitter was a repost on Sullivan & Cromwell continuing to represent FTX debtors on Jan. 20 and a like to a report that the firm billed $7.5 million for the first 19 days of FTX work.
Magazine: Crypto Twitter Hall of Flame: Lark Davis on fighting social media storms, and why he’s an ETH bull: Hall of Flame