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FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Denies Witness Tampering Ahead of Trial

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried are requesting the revocation of his bail, arguing it's based on unsupported claims and assumptions.
  • The defense team contends that Bankman-Fried's interaction with a New York Times reporter was not an attempt at witness tampering.
  • Bankman-Fried's lawyers argue that his detention would hinder the defense process and infringe on First Amendment rights.
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Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers continue to claim their client is innocent and deny allegations of witness tampering. The former FTX CEO is in hot water after a discussion with a New York Times reporter.

In a court filing published on Aug. 1, 2023, lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried asked the court presiding over the case to revoke his bail ahead of the trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Defend Actions Ahead of Trial

The lawyers argue that the bail is “extremely thin” to begin with and relies heavily on assumptions and unsupported claims. They go on to say that the contact with the New York Times reporter was not sufficient to justify detaining him in the first place. The filing reads,

“The Government is wrong. Its version of events mischaracterizes the facts and removes them from their proper context to cast Mr. Bankman-Fried’s actions and intentions in the most negative light possible…Witness-1 initiated the dialogue with Mr. Bankman-Fried and that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s message to Witness-1 was not an attempt to tamper with his testimony, but an attempt to offer himself as a resource in the bankruptcy.”

With respect to the use of a VPN, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers explain that he used it to watch football. They also point out that detaining Bankman-Fried for the aforementioned reasons raises concerns about First Amendment rights.

As an additional reason for objecting to the detention, the lawyers argue that it would render Bankman-Fried unable to participate in his defense. They say that the prison does not permit inmates to have internet access, and this will cut the defendant off from key parts of the discovery process.

As such, they request the “least restrictive” method to address the government’s concerns. The government, of course, is staunch in its position and aims to see that those strict conditions are established.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s leadership caused FTX’s collapse, leading to a chain of unfortunate events in the crypto space. Learn more about the exchange meltdown in our guide: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Judge Proposes Possible Jailing of Bankman-Fried

In other news related to the trial, Bankman-Fried also faces other tough conditions regarding his bail. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said in a hearing in a Manhattan federal court that he was restricting Bankman-Fried’s ability to communicate publicly.

This was a result of the judge’s statement that the former FTX CEO was tampering with witnesses. Incidentally, the lawyers have also asked the judge to gag FTX witnesses.

Furthermore, the judge that he would also consider jailing him before the hearing begins on Oct. 2 if he didn’t behave within acceptable bounds.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have argued that it would be “almost impossible” to prepare for the trial if that were to happen. Both sides have until Aug. 3 to argue this particular matter.


In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.

Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...