Federal prosecutors are seeking to ban the indicted FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried from using encrypted messaging software, according to a letter filed in Manhattan federal court on Friday. constitutes tampering with the witness.”
Bankman-Fried contacted “the current general counsel of FTX US who may be a witness at the trial,” prosecutors said. Ryne Miller, whose name is not identified in government filings, is a current attorney at FTX US and a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis.
The government claims Bankman-Fried wrote to Miller via Signal, an encrypted messaging app. On January 15th, days after cryptocurrency exchange bankruptcy authorities revealed his recovery of more than $5 billion in his FTX assets.
“I want to see if there’s a way to reconnect and have a constructive relationship, use each other as a resource if possible, or at least examine things with each other,” said Bankman-Fried. told Miller.
Bankman-Fried is also in touch with “other current and former FTX employees,” the filing said. Federal prosecutors have suggested that Bankman-Fried’s request suggests an attempt to influence witness testimony, and that Bankman-Fried’s efforts to improve relations with Miller “are themselves witnesses.” could constitute falsification of
Representatives for Miller and Bankman-Fried declined to comment.
In restricting access to Bankman-Fried’s Signal and other encrypted messaging platforms, the government cites the need to “prevent obstruction of justice.” Federal prosecutors allege Bankman-Fried directed Alameda and his FTX via his Slack and Signal to order employees to “auto-delete within 30 days” their communication preferences.
Citing previously undisclosed testimony from former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, the government said Bankman-Fried “many lawsuits require documentation and information must be written down or preserved.” It will be more difficult to sue,” he said. Ellison has pleaded guilty to multiple fraud charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors’ efforts to bring a case against Bankman-Fried.
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to eight charges related to the collapse of his multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency empire, FTX. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in October after being released on $250 million bail.