FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was sent to prison last Friday after the judge handling his case revoked his bail. US District Judge Lewis Kaplan found probable cause that the disgraced former CEO repeatedly tampered with witnesses. Additionally, Kaplan rejected a request by Bankman-Fried’s attorneys to delay her detention pending an appeal.
Prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried tried to tamper with a key witness last month when he showed a New York Times reporter the personal writings of his ex-partner Caroline Ellison, a colleague witness who pleaded guilty in December to criminal charges related to defrauding FTX investors. The prosecution said SBF’s actions were an attempt to damage his reputation and influence prospective jurors. On the other hand, the SBF defense team accused the prosecutors of using evidence full of “innuendo, speculation, and little truth.” Judge Kaplan sided with prosecutors, saying Bankman-Fried tried to “tamper with witnesses at least twice.”
Reuters reported that the 31-year-old former FTX boss was led out of the US Marshals court “after removing his shoelaces, jacket and tie and emptying his pockets.” The former CEO has been under house arrest in California (at his parents’ house in Palo Alto) since he was extradited last December following his arrest in the Bahamas last December. His $250 million bail package strictly controls his internet use.