Key points to remember
- US Attorney Damian Williams wants Sam Bankman-Fried’s use of cellphones, tablets, computers and the internet to be strictly limited.
- Bankman-Fried recently used a VPN twice; he also used Signal to contact a former employee.
- Williams argues that Bankman-Fried is too computer savvy to be granted internet access while out on bail.
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Since he’s so willing to circumvent his bail conditions, Sam Bankman-Fried should be completely cut off from the internet pending trial, prosecutors say.
A technologically sophisticated person
Prosecutors want to further tighten Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions.
United States Attorney Damian Williams submitted a letter yesterday to Judge Lewis Kaplan arguing that the court should limit Bankman-Fried’s use of cellphones, tablets, computers and the internet while he awaits trial.
The request follows the discovery by prosecutors on February 13 that the disgraced crypto founder had recently used a virtual private network (VPN) on at least two occasions to access the Internet. Bankman-Fried claimed he only used a VPN to access his NFL Game Pass (which he purchased in the Bahamas) to watch the AFC and NFC Championship games on Jan. 29 and the Super Bowl on Feb. 12. . that Bankman-Fried didn’t need his Game Pass to watch the Super Bowl, since it was broadcast on cable television.
Williams also pointed to Bankman-Fried’s recent contact with FTX’s US General Counsel Ryne Miller through the encrypted messaging app Signal. On January 15, Bankman-Fried messaged Miller stating that he “would really like to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, to use each other as resources when possible, or at least to check things with everyone”. other.”
Prosecutors claimed the message was a potential attempt to influence a witness’ testimony, or even intimidate Miller into not testifying against him. The court later barred Bankman-Fried from using encrypted messaging apps or contacting former employees without an attorney present.
However, Williams argued in his letter yesterday that Bankman-Fried was a “technologically sophisticated individual with both the ability and the inclination to seek workarounds” to his bail conditions, and that only prohibiting him from accessing the Internet – except for questions about his case – would prevent further witness tampering. He also said that Bankman-Fried’s use of a VPN indicated that he might have been responsible for move illegally more than $800,000 in funds associated with Alameda Research in December.
Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned BTC, ETH, and several other crypto assets.