Bankman-Fried searching for tech expert to advise on bail dispute, lawyers say 

Quick Take

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are searching for a technical expert to advise the court on his bail terms, after prosecutors asked for tighter bail terms because the former FTX boss used a VPN and encrypted messaging apps.
  • Bankman-Fried’s bail dispute has stretched for weeks. He’s temporarily barred from using encrypted apps like Signal or a VPN.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers are searching for a tech expert to advise the court on his bail dispute, they told a federal judge in a letter on Tuesday. 

“The defense has already begun researching and contacting possible experts and anticipates being able to propose one or more potential candidates to the court by the end of the week,” wrote Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan suggested Bankman-Fried bring in a technical expert to advise on issues around his bail during a court proceeding last week. The former billionaire, who is under house arrest on a $250 million bond, will pay for the tech expert. 

Bankman-Fried’s bail terms have been in contention for weeks, after prosecutors accused him of contacting a potential witness on Signal and using a virtual private network to shield his internet use. Prosecutors asked the judge to tighten Bankman-Fried’s bail terms, suggesting the court should seriously curtail Bankman-Fried’s internet access. 


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Kaplan temporarily banned Bankman-Fried from using a VPN or any encrypted or ephemeral apps until his bail terms are settled. Bankman-Fried could face decades in jail if convicted on criminal charges. He’s also temporarily barred from contacting current or former FTX employees. The judge asked lawyers to submit proposed bail orders to the court this week. 

Bankman-Fried has said through lawyers that he used a VPN to watch the Super Bowl and other NFL games. He is awaiting an October trial in his criminal case before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Disclaimer: Beginning in 2021, Michael McCaffrey, the former CEO and majority owner of The Block, took a series of loans from founder and former FTX and Alameda CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. McCaffrey resigned from the company in December 2022 after failing to disclose those transactions.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Stephanie is a senior reporter covering policy and regulation. She is focused on legislation, regulatory agencies, lobbying and money in politics. Stephanie is based in Washington, D.C.


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