The former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, is facing accusations that he attempted to influence the testimony of a current employee, Ryne Miller, the General Counsel of FTX US, through encrypted messages.
Federal prosecutors have requested that Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions be modified to prevent any further alleged attempts at influencing witnesses in response to the allegations.
Court documents filed on January 27 reveal that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan to ban Bankman-Fried from communicating with any current or former employees of FTX or Alameda, the company’s parent company.
The prosecutors have requested this after they alleged that Bankman-Fried had reached out to Ryne Miller over Signal and email on January 15, attempting to influence Miller’s testimony.
The document states, “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.”
“The defendant shall not use any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including but not limited to Signal.”
In addition to the communication ban, the prosecutors also requested that Bankman-Fried be banned from using encrypted communication applications. The document states that Bankman-Fried’s use of Signal is consistent with a history of using the application for obstructive purposes.
In December 2022, Bankman-Fried denied any involvement or knowledge of a “Wirefraud” group chat on Signal, hours before his arrest by Bahamian police. The group chat reportedly included members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle, including FTX co-founder Zixiao “Gary” Wang, FTX engineer Nishad Singh, and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison, who allegedly used the group to send secret information about FTX and Alameda in the lead-up to the company’s collapse.
This latest development comes after lawyers representing FTX in the bankruptcy proceedings argued on January 26 that Bankman-Fried’s immediate family should face questioning regarding any financial benefits they may have received from the exchange.