Sam Bankman-Fried lawyers allege that he was not involved in past illegal transactions, and needs to have access to the company assets. Bankman-Fried’s legal team wants the court to get rid of a bail condition that prevented him from accessing FTX’s funds, according to court filings published on January 28, 2023.
A letter from Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan said that Sam Bankman-Fried needs to have access to assets that are held by FTX, alleging that the client was never involved in past unauthorized transactions.
FTX US and FTX have sought more than $659 million in illegal transfers amid the implosion of the crypto exchange in early November, as highlighted by Nansen data. Bankman-Fried denied any involvement in these transactions.
According to an official letter sent to Judge Kaplan, Bankman-Fried was“prohibited from accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency, including assets or cryptocurrency purchased with funds from FTX or Alameda”, as directed by US watchdogs at the first court hearing on January 3. At that time, prosecutors acknowledged that there was no viable evidence that Mr. Sam Bankman-Fried had transferred funds and said that a federal investigation was underway.
The letter notes:
“Nearly three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference and we assume that the Government’s investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely, that he did not access and transfer these assets. The defense notified authorities “as soon as we became aware of the transfers to provide notification.”
Additionally, the lawyers insisted:
“Given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed.”
Besides that, this letter addressed a request from January 27 by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) banning Sam Bankman-Fried from communicating with “current or former employees” of FTX exchange or Alameda Research without his attorney’s presence.
The prosecutor’s request was made after Sam Bankman-Fried supposedly contacted Ryne Miller, the current General Counsel of FTX US crypto exchange, over Signal and email on January 15, trying to “influence” Miller’s testimony.Buy Bitcoin Now
Based on Cohen’s letter, Sam Bankman-Fried needs to have unlimited contact with his father, therapist, and any agent or employee of a foreign watchdog without the presence of any of the attorneys involved in his case. The defense said:
“For example, it would mean that Mr. Bankman-Fried could not speak to his therapist, who is a former FTX employee, without the participation of his lawyers. According to public sources, FTX and Alameda had approximately 350 employees. Each of these current and former employees could have information crucial to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s defense. Requiring Mr. Bankman-Fried to include counsel in every communication with a former or current FTX employee would place an unnecessary strain on his resources and prejudice his ability to defend this case.”
On November 11, FTX filed for bankruptcy protection and Sam Bankman-Fried resigned as the firm’s CEO. On bail at his California family house, he faces eight charges, including money laundering and wire fraud.
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