Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is headed to jail, after a federal judge decided during a hearing on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to revoke his bail.
He was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal, as a request to stay the court's ruling on pending appeal was denied, according to court documents.
Bankman-Fried took off his shoelaces, jacket and tie, and was handcuffed to be led out of the courtroom on Friday, Inner City Press reported on the social network formally known as Twitter, adding that his lawyer told Judge Lewis Kaplan that they plan to appeal.
Bankman-Fried will seemingly be moved from under house arrest with his parents in Palo Alto, Calif., to a New York jail while awaiting his criminal trial scheduled for Oct. 2.
Bankman-Fried has been on a $250 billion bond since December, which was co-signed by his parents and close friends Stanford University professors Larry Kramer and Andreas Paepcke.
Prosecutors asked the judge last month to detain Bankman-Fried, shortly after the Justice Department accused Bankman-Fried of leaking the private diary of a former colleague and ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, to The New York Times. Ellison ran FTX's sister trading company Alameda Research and pleaded guilty to multiple charges last year.
This was not Bankman-Fried's first run-in with prosecutors since being arrested last year. The former billionaire has been accused by prosecutors of using encrypted messaging app Signal to contact a potential witness. Subsequently, Bankman-Fried's smartphone was traded in earlier this year for a model that can't access the internet and got a laptop computer for a new version outfitted with monitoring software to restrict his internet use.
Beyond a constitutional right
In a letter to Kaplan on Aug. 3 asking for Bankman-Fried’s detainment, prosecutors said Bankman-Fried “went beyond benignly exercising a constitutional right to speak to the press—he took covert steps intended to improperly discredit a trial witness and taint the jury pool.”
Bankman-Fried too is currently under a temporary gag order, preventing him from speaking to the press, following that New York Times story.
Some came to his defense in affidavits submitted to the court, including the New York Times and Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe. Tribe argued that Bankman-Fried was within his rights to speak to the media about the case.
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.
(Updated to add details throughout.)
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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