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SBF Replies U.S. Prosecutors, Requests Access to FTX Funds

2 mins
Updated by Paolo Besabella

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) said the recent government allegations painted him in the “worst possible light.” US prosecutors alleged that SBF’s message to FTX US General counsel Ryne Miller was an attempt to influence his testimony.

According to SBF legal counsel, the disgraced founder only reached out to assist with the bankruptcy case. They added that a similar message was sent to the bankrupt exchange’s CEO John Ray, confirming that SBF was only trying to help.

The lawyers added that the auto-deletion feature the government complained about was not enabled for the message in question, and an email copy was sent to Miller.

SBF Lawyers Propose Restriction From FTX’s Accomplices

The lawyers argued that their client should be restricted from specific individuals, and not all of FTX’s former and current employees.

According to the lawyers, SBF should be restricted from contacting former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX’s co-founder Zixiao “Gary” Wang, and the exchange’s chief engineer, Nishad Singh. The lawyers added that the restriction would prevent him from contacting these individuals, even in the presence of his lawyers.

However, SBF requested unlimited contact with his father, Alan Joseph Bankman; his therapist George Lerner; and officials of foreign regulators. The lawyers wrote:

“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. Moreover, many of these individuals are Mr. Bankman-Fried’s friends. Imposing a blanket restriction on his contact with them would remove an important source of personal support.”

Besides that, the lawyers urged the court not to ban Bankman-Fried from using ephemeral messaging apps like Signal. According to the lawyers, the government cannot request such restrictions based on unfounded concerns.

Seeks Access to FTX’s Crypto Assets

SBF’s legal team wants the court to grant him access to FTX funds because he was not involved in earlier unauthorized transactions.

According to the lawyers, the government investigations into the unauthorized transactions have lasted for close to three weeks and should have shown that SBF’s claim about the transactions was valid. Several Alameda wallets moved funds a few days after SBF was granted bail, prompting rumors that he might be behind the transactions. However, SBF has repeatedly insisted that the said transactions were not from him.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors have seized roughly $700 million worth of assets from the disgraced founder.


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