Prosecutors in the United States have urged a federal court to restrict Sam Bankman-bail Fried’s terms in order to prevent the disgraced entrepreneur from contacting his former colleagues. According to court filings from The New York Times, attorneys for the Department of Justice claim that early this month, Bankman-Fried attempted to communicate with the general counsel of FTX’s US business by Signal and email. The contact was “suggestive of an attempt to influence Witness-1’s anticipated testimony,” according to the lawsuit.
“I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other,” Bankman-Fried said in one message, according to the Justice Department. The Department of Justice has urged the court presiding over Bankman-criminal Fried’s case to prevent him from contacting current and former FTX workers and from using Signal or any other encrypted or ephemeral messaging service. Following the request, SBF’s legal team charged federal prosecutors with attempting to portray their client in the “worst possible light.” They allege Bankman-Fried attempted to contact FTX US general counsel and CEO John Ray to provide “assistance,” rather than interfering with his criminal prosecution. His attorneys argue that a Signal ban is unnecessary since Bankman-Fried does not use the app’s auto-delete option.
Prosecutors said SBF’s usage of Signal is consistent with “a history” of using the software to conceal his activities at FTX. Bankman-Fried and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison were purportedly members of a covert “Wirefraud” group discussion on Signal before FTX’s downfall in November. SBF reportedly ordered workers to activate Signal’s vanishing messages function during his stint at the exchange.