Judge denies Bankman-Fried’s bail modification ahead of Thursday hearing

Quick Take

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s request to modify his bail terms was rejected by a judge on Tuesday.
  • Prosecutors are seeking changes to the bail terms because Bankman-Fried is accused of using the encrypted messaging app Signal to contact a potential witness in the case.
  • A hearing on the issue is set for Thursday.

A U.S. District judge rejected Sam Bankman-Fried’s request to modify his bail terms and cancel a Thursday hearing on the issue, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

Bankman-Fried agreed this week to stop using encrypted or ephemeral messaging apps like Signal after prosecutors accused him of using the technology to contact a potential witness in his criminal case and sought modifications to his bail terms.

Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Bankman-Fried’s motion to amend his bail and cancel oral arguments on the matter later this week. A Thursday hearing will go forward, according to the judge’s order.

The former FTX boss said in a court filing that he would stay off encrypted or ephemeral messaging apps, but Bankman-Fried's proposal would have allowed him to use most other messaging platforms, including phone calls, iMessage, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, with some restrictions.

Bankman-Fried is facing a litany of criminal charges tied to his alleged mishandling of customer funds at his crypto exchange FTX and trading firm Alameda Research. 

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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