Good day everybody,
Welcome to CryptoGod-1's blog on all things crypto. Today I will be doing a quick follow up to my recent post on Sam Bankman-Fried, where I looked at his blog post from earlier this month where he claimed his innocence. Now SBF has been in the news again, with two big headlines emerging in the recent days which I will discuss here.
If you would like to check out the previous post, it can be found here: SBF - The Master of Deflecting Blame
Alleged Witness Tampering
According to reports which emerged over the weekend, SBF has tried to contact and influence a witness testimony of an employee from the FTX exchange. Apparently SBF did so by making use of the encrypted Messaging App known as Signal. It has been alleged that on the 15th of January 2023 SBF made use of Signal to contact Ryne Miller, the current General Counsel of FTX US. The contact was made through both Signal and email, in which SBF stated:
"would love to reconnect and see if there's a way for us to develop a healthy connection, use one another as assets when feasible, or at least vet stuff with each other."
This news emerged as the US Department of Justice have applied to change the terms of SBF's bail. As per SBF's current bail conditions, he has been released on a $250 million bond in December last year and he is confined to his parent’s house. However, with the updated application the prosecutors are looking to get SBF banned from being allowed to make use of Signal.
They intend to prevent SBF having any communication with former workers of his defunct businesses or utilizing an encrypted messaging service, which includes Signal. Apparently SBF has 'a history of utilizing the app for obstructive objectives,' and the contact made by SBF is evidence that he attempted to get Miller to 'identify' with him and may constitute witness tampering.
According to information provided by Caroline Ellison, who formerly worked as CEO of Alameda Research, SBF had previously informed all his employees to "auto delete" their discussions on Signal or Slack after no more than thirty day, which would make it difficult for any legal case to be created against them. The US government has already admitted this has made their investigations into FTX more difficult, so limiting any further access to these encrypted services will limit SBF's potential of further deception.
The biggest issue is that these people may end up testifying against SBF, and any contact from him may constitute 'intimidation,' meaning they need to be safeguarded. The DOJ also believes that SBF tried contacting other FTX and Alameda employees, which they suggests was an effort to influence at least one of the witnesses’ future testimony.
All of this information was brought to light in a letter by the DOJ to Judge Kaplan, where they state in their application to change SBF's bail conditions that:
"Efforts by the defendant to improve his relationship with potential witnesses that may testify against him may itself constitute witness tampering. Were the defendant to 'vet' his version of relevant events with potential witnesses, that might have the effect of discouraging witnesses from testifying in a manner contrary to the defendant's narrative."
SBF's lawyers issued a response letter which was filed to the court on Saturday morning, they have suggested that a specific list be created of any potential list of witnesses who SBF is unallowed to contact, stating it is 'unreasonable to prohibit contact to hundreds of current and former employees.' They also claim that the message from SBF was nothing more than 'an offer to help FTX navigate its ongoing bankruptcy case.' It seems like SBF is always the good man determined to offer his help wherever it may be needed, and would never try do anything out of the wrong.
Access to FTX Assets and Crypto
In another stunning turn of events, SBF's lawyer Mark Cohen has asked a federal judge to lift the financial restrictions on him, citing:
"Nearly three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference and we assume that the Government's investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely, that he did not access and transfer these assets. Given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed."
This comes after SBF was barred by the courts on the 3rd of January 2023 from moving or accessing any of FTX's assets, including its crypto. This emerged after the government claimed 'while they had no evidence of SBF being involved,' a number of crypto assets had been moved from Alameda marked wallets in late December. You can find a post I wrote regarding the movement of those assets and the filing to block SBF having access to them here: Sam Bankman-Fried Blocked From Accessing FTX and Alameda Funds
Also of note in the application filing to the court was a request that SBF be allowed unlimited contact with his father, therapist, and any foreign regulator who contacts him. This follows on from information that the lawyers for FTX intended to subpoena SBF, his family, and former lieutenants for non cooperation with the lawyers in regards to requests for documents and information regarding FTX's finances. The brother of SBF, Gabriel Bankman-Fried, and mother, Barbara Fried, have apparently ignored the Requests for information altogether. His father however, Joseph Bankman, is apparently assisting with the lawyers and helping to ensure progress is made. The lawyers for FTX stated:
"Certain insiders are currently cooperating with the Debtors to provide important information. But others are not, and thus, authorization to issue subpoenas to those with the missing information is critical to the Debtors' and Committee's recovery efforts."
My Advice to SBF
SBF has been in the media so often over the past month, and of course it is for all the wrong reasons. He is being charged with multiple criminal charges, including fraud and wire charges, which helped to ensure millions of people lost money. Pure Billions have been lost, yet SBF still believes he is the good guy in all of this. How is beyond me, but I guess its as much to do with ignorance as it is to do with his entitled attitude. I have encounter many people like this in my life, from those cretins in my family to the scum in the university I was forced to attend.
The best thing SBF can do is reduce his online presence, in my opinion. He is not going to get these people on his side, either former or current FTX employees, or the general public at large. SBF is seen as the person in the wrong and I highly doubt anything will change that. Every action he makes is only going to be used against him in court down the line. He bed his own bed and now he needs to sleep in it, and the best option he has is to take a step back from it all, process what is happening, and enjoy his free time while he has it. It may be gone soon.
Thanks very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article. I am sure we will have more information emerging on SBF again very soon.
Have a great day.
** This article was first Publish by myself on Medium om the 29th of January 2023, which can be found here: https://medium.com/@1r3n9project/sbf-just-stop-2abfc261ae4b **
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