Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried will await his October trial in jail.
On Friday, a federal judge found that Bankman-Fried had likely tampered with a witness when the former crypto executive leaked his ex-girlfriend’s diary to The New York Times.
Excerpts from her diary were featured in a story published last month.
Condition of Release
The judge, Lewis Kaplan, revoked Bankman-Fried’s bail, which had allowed him to spend 2023 at his parents’ multimillion-dollar California home near the Stanford University campus.
“There is no … condition of release that will assure that the defendant will not pose a danger to other persons or the safety of the community,” Kaplan wrote in his order.
The former crypto exchange executive is facing charges of fraud after allegedly using billions in customer funds to plug a hole in sister company Alameda Research.
Bankman-Fried’s former girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, was an executive at Alameda Research and is expected to feature as a star witness in Bankman-Fried’s trial this fall. Ellison pleaded guilty to fraud earlier this year.
Personal and intimate
Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, argued his client was just trying to rehabilitate his shattered image when he shared Ellison’s diary, according to Inner City press, an independent media outlet that covers the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
Kaplan didn’t buy it.
Entries from Ellison’s diary were “personal and intimate,” the judge said, according to Inner City Press. “There’s something that someone who has been in a relationship would be unlikely to share with anyone except to hurt and frighten the subject.”
Kaplan also took issue with Bankman-Fried’s use of a virtual private network — computer software used to route one’s internet activity through servers in other locations — to watch a football game at his parents’ California home.
“This defendant tries to go right up to the line,” Kaplan said, according to Inner City Press. “He subscribed from the Bahamas and used a VPN as if he were in the Bahamas when he was in Palo Alto and could have watched it on public TV. It shows the mindset.”
Minutes after Bankman-Fried was carted off to jail, his defence team appealed the judge’s decision.