US DOJ Claims Sam Bankman-Fried Used Messaging App Signal To Try To Influence Witness

United States Federal prosecutors are trying to prevent convicted FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried from using encrypted messaging software, mentioning attempts that could “constitute witness tampering,” according to a letter filed in Manhattan federal court recently.

Bankman-Fried contacted the “current General Counsel of FTX US who may be a witness at trial,” according to prosecutors. Ryne Miller, the current counsel for FTX US and a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis, was not identified by name in the government filing.

According to the government, Bankman-Fried wrote to Miller on Jan. 15 via Signal, an encrypted messaging app, just days after bankruptcy officials at the crypto exchange announced the recovery of more than $5 billion in FTX assets.

“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,” Bankman-Fried allegedly told Miller.

Bankman-Fried has also communicated with “other current and former FTX employees,” according to the filing. Federal prosecutors claim that Bankman-request Fried’s indicates an attempt to influence the witness’ testimony, and that his efforts to improve his relationship with Miller “may itself constitute witness tampering.”

There were no comments on the issue from Both Miller and a representative for Bankman-Fried.

The government quotes a need to “prevent obstruction of justice” in restricting Bankman-access Fried’s to Signal and other encrypted messaging platforms. According to federal prosecutors, Bankman-Fried directed Alameda and FTX via Slack and Signal, and instructed his employees to set communications to “autodelete after 30 days or less.”

The government claimed that Bankman-Fried stated that “many legal cases turn on documentation and it is more difficult to build a legal case if the information is not written down or preserved,” citing previously undisclosed testimony from ex-Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison. Ellison pled guilty to multiple counts of fraud and has been assisting the US Attorney’s office in its efforts to build a case against Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight charges stemming from the demise of his multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency empire, FTX. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in October after posting a $250 million bond.

(Adapted from

Categories: Economy & Finance, Entrepreneurship, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Uncategorized

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