Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s laptop contains so much data the FBI is having trouble analyzing it, according to Business Insider reports on March 30.
Prosecutors are overloaded with laptop data
The FBI is having difficulty with the contents of the laptop, according to statements made by Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Roos to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
It would have taken prosecutors weeks to recover Bankman-Fried’s Slack messages. Obtaining other data takes longer and officers have to split the contents of the laptop into separate parts due to the huge amount of data on the computer.
As a result, the Justice Department has so far been unable to initiate a privilege review, that is, a review by people not working on the case. This process determines whether certain information can be used in the case against Bankman-Fried.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyer reportedly expressed concerns about how prosecutors would handle the data on the laptop. However, the lawyer’s concerns would relate to the possibility that a cooperating witness could testify to advance the government’s case – not strictly whether the DOJ will be able to fully sort out the data from the laptop.
The Business Insider report also says prosecutors have provided more than 6 million pages of discovery documents related to the case so far.
The legal proceedings of the SBF continue
It’s unclear whether the DOJ and FBI’s difficulties are solely due to the amount of data, or whether their issues are also related to encryption and privacy.
Although Bankman-Fried’s apparent data storage habits have not previously been discussed, his tendency to use secret and self-deleting messaging apps had previously become an issue during his case. He now faces restrictions on his use of these apps.
Bankman-Fried’s main trial will take place in October, but legal proceedings are currently underway. Bankman-Fried recently pleaded not guilty to 13 federal indictments. He had previously been accused of violating China-related anti-corruption laws.
Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison for his role in FTX’s wrongdoing, though it’s not guaranteed he will face that full sentence even if convicted.