Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will be returned to prison after a judge ruled with probable cause that he has twice tampered with witnesses and violated his parole agreement.
- On Friday, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered SBF’s bail revoked, likely meaning he will remain in prison through his trial.
- The decision resulted from SBF sharing sensitive information with The New York Times in an effort “to hurt and frighten” his Alameda colleague and former girlfriend Caroline Ellison.
- Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon also noted that SBF has repeatedly violated his bail conditions by using electronic devices and virtual private networks to hide his internet activity.
- He is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2 after being charged in December. SBF was released in January on $250 million in bail and mostly confined to his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California.
Why It’s News
The collapse of the crypto exchange FTX in November 2022 was one of the largest financial collapses in modern history. SBF has founded and led the company for years and became a media darling for curating an image as a philanthropist and an advocate for social causes.
Unfortunately, that image was shattered when it was discovered that FTX and its partner company Alameda Research had been sharing a pool of liquid capital, mismanaging funds, and poorly documenting their decision-making. The company faced a bank run and declared bankruptcy on November 11, leaving millions of customers unable to withdraw their funds.
Liquidation lawyer John Jay Ray III stated in November that the collapse marketed the worse case of documented financial abuse since the collapse of Enron—further noting that the complex tangle of missing assets, undocumented transfers, and hidden funds will likely make it impossible for all of the outstanding depositors to be reimbursed.
SBF’s Friday court appearance was the most recent in a series of pre-trial hearings in which he has been repeatedly and sternly reprimanded for his actions—with his lawyers acknowledging that he has been sending thousands of communications to the media in recent months.
Prosecutors have repeatedly called for SBF to be reprimanded to jail months after receiving his bail terms, with SBF repeatedly using his time and freedom to run defense against allegations that he mismanaged FTX. He is currently facing at least 12 charges in two trials.