Judge issues gag order on Sam Bankman-Fried as prosecutors call for jail time

Quick Take

  • The federal judge said the order did not apply to “assertions of innocence.”

A federal judge issued a gag order on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried, limiting him from speaking publicly about his case to the media.

“The parties in this case, their attorneys, and their agents are prohibited from publicly disseminating or discussing with any public communications media anything about the case,” New York United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered on Wednesday.

Kaplan added that the order did not apply to “assertions of innocence.”

The U.S. Department of Justice accused Bankman-Fried last week of leaking the private diary of a former colleague, Caroline Ellison, to the media. Ellison ran FTX's sister trading company Alameda Research and pleaded guilty to multiple charges last year. 

Counsel for Bankman-Fried had agreed that he would not talk publicly about the case but said it should be applied to “all parties and witnesses” including FTX, Alameda Research and current FTX CEO John Ray, according to a letter filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York over the weekend

Jail time sought 

Prosecutor Danielle Sassoon told the court on Wednesday that Bankman-Fried, who's currently under house arrest, should be detained, adding that  “no set of release conditions can ensure the safety of the community,” according to Reuters

The judge gave both sides until Aug. 3 to argue their positions on whether or not Bankman-Fried should be detained. His counsel said the former FTX CEO was trying to protect his reputation through communication with journalists and added that it “really would be almost impossible” to prepare for the Oct. 2 trial if Bankman-Fried were jailed, Reuters reported. 

Bankman-Fried faces over 100 years in prison if he is convicted of a slew of charges, including fraud, over allegations that he and other FTX executives used billions of customer assets to make their own failed investments. FTX filed for bankruptcy late last year. 

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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