FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried accused of witness tampering

US prosecutors allege ftx founder Sam Bankman-Fried of witness tampering and asked a federal judge to issue an injunction that would bar the former billionaire and other parties from making public statements that would interfere with a fair trial.

Prosecutors wrote to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Thursday, referencing a New York Times article titled “Inside the Private Writings of Carolyn Ellison, Star Witness in the FTX Case.”

Individual excerpts from Ellison are reported in the article. Google Documents prior to the collapse of FTX in which she spoke of being “quite unhappy and overwhelmed” with her job and feeling “hurt/rejected” by her breakup with Bankman-Fried.

Ellison led Bankman-Fried Alameda Research has pleaded guilty to defrauding hedge funds and investors and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. In December, Bankman-Fried said that she and Ellison were in a relationship but did not provide any further details.

Prosecutors said it was clear that Bankman-Fried shared the documents with The New York Times and that her attorneys confirmed to the government that she personally met with one of the article’s authors and shared documents “that were not part of the government’s discovery materials.”

A spokeswoman and attorneys for Bankman-Fried did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The New York Times declined to comment, and Ellison’s lawyers did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Prosecutors argued that by sharing these documents, Bankman-Fried was trying to tarnish Ellison’s credibility, and that such conduct could dissuade witnesses from testifying and taint the jury pool.

“By sharing select private documents with The New York Times, defendant is attempting to discredit a witness, cast Ellison in a bad light, and advance his defense through the press and outside the constraints of the courtroom and the rules of evidence.” IS: Ellison was “a jilted lover who single-handedly committed these crimes,” prosecutors wrote in the letter.

Earlier on Thursday, FTX Trading sued founder Bankman-Fried and other former executives of the cryptocurrency exchange to recover more than $1 billion (roughly Rs. 88,200 crores) allegedly misappropriated before FTX’s bankruptcy filing. Recovery was demanded.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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