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Sam Bankman-Fried May Now Contact FTX Employees — But There’s a Catch

Lawyers for FTX’s disgraced former boss, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), have reached an agreement with prosecutors allowing him to contact certain FTX employees.

Besides certain restrictions, the 30-year-old may contact such parties through a host of new mediums.

The New Rules

Updated terms surrounding Bankman-Fried’s contact restrictions were sent to Lewis A. Kaplan – a judge for the Southern District of New York – in a letter on Monday. 

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said the updated conditions were a response to the government exempting certain parties from a previously proposed no-contact condition. 

Initially, SBF was explicitly barred from using “any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including but not limited to Signal.” Now, that condition has been modified to allow the former CEO to place voice calls, FaceTime calls, use Zoom, text, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and email. 

WhatsApp has also been permitted for use – but only if SBF uses monitoring technology to preserve all communications made through the app. 

In return for this condition, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers agreed not to fight an order from last month barring Bankman-Fried from touching FTX and Alameda related assets. The former executive was suspected of moving $1.7 billion of Alameda’s assets days after being released for bail in December, though he denied he was behind the activity. 

Bankman-Fried has also pled not guilty to eight criminal charges including fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy, which could land him life in prison. 

SBF Wants a Word

SBF allegedly attempted to communicate with FTX general counsel Ryne Miller using Signal, one of the apps he’s not permitted to use. Ephemeral messaging applications of the like let users set custom time limits for how long their messages remain on the app. 

In the message, Bankman-Fried asked Miller to reconnect so they could have a “constructive relationship “ surrounding the bankruptcy process. Prosecutors viewed it as an attempt at witness tampering, while SBF’s lawyers called it an innocuous attempt to assist with asset recovery.

Bankman-Fried has also attempted to contact FTX’s current CEO, John Ray, per newly released emails filed by Federal prosecutors. In one of them, he asked Ray if he was the one responsible for moving Alameda’s assets on December 30. 

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“If this is your team moving the assets to custody, great!” he wrote. “If not, I worry it might be a hacker — possibly the same one as a month and a half ago.”

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