In the ongoing criminal case against the former FTX Chief executive, SBF, the United States prosecutors disclosed email and text messages from Bankman-Fried to the current FTX CEO, John Ray. The messages contained compelling insights regarding the business operation of FTX before the new leadership took over.
The Justice Department argues no access for SBF after he reached out to John Ray to discuss FTX assets. https://t.co/ZcjEQAoLNL
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) January 30, 2023
On January 30, the court documents stipulated that the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed SBF’s legal team’s motion to remove some of the proposed modifications for his bail conditions. These modifications included desisting from any interaction with former and current FTX employees. Additionally, the prosecutors revealed that Bankman-Fried attempted to get in touch with FTX CEO (John Ray) and FTX US general counsel (Ryne Miller.)
On January 2, SBF wrote an email to Ray stipulating his regrets for not starting on the right foot and requested meeting the FTX CEO in New York City. SBF who was released on bond, was allowed to exit his parent’s California home to appear in court and enter his not-guilty plea. The message followed a communication from December 30, in which SBF attempted to address the situation relating to funds tied to Alameda wallets:
Although I can’t access the funds, I suspect your team can transfer and safeguard these assets. It would be my pleasure to take you through the ways to access them if need be.
Sam Bankman-Fried alleged in his January 12 statement of the exchange’s impending downfall that the law firm Sullivan & Crowell, and the US general counsel for the exchange, pressured him to name Ray as his replacement. In response to SBF’s claims on ‘no ongoing role’ with any subsidiaries of FTX, Ray noted that he does not represent or speak on their behalf.
According to Bankman-Fried’s filings from January 27, they indicate that he attempted to contact FTX US general counsel, Miller to sway his criminal testimony. This triggered prosecutors to file a motion amending SBF’s bail conditions to disenable him from communicating with FTX employees through encrypted messaging applications, such as Signal, and prohibit him from accessing or transferring assets linked to FTX, Alameda, or cryptocurrency, either directly or indirectly.
Criminal charges against SBF
The major crypto exchange, FTX, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, as SBF stepped down as CEO and succeeded by John Ray.
On December, SBF was arrested in the Bahamas on a handful of criminal charges. Some of the charges included conspiracy to misuse customer funds, wire fraud, and money laundering, among other violations. However, Bankman appeared before the judge in the US District Court in New York City with his lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, and pled not guilty to all the charges.
Nonetheless, in late December, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison both pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges to FTX’s downfall. They also gave their word that they would cooperate with the prosecutors in FTX investigation and its affiliated crypto hedge fund, Alameda Research.
However, the former FTX chief executive will appear in Court on October 2, 2023, to prove his innocence regarding the charges against him. If found guilty, SBF will face up to 115 years in prison.