Regulation

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers request extension for bail condition proposal

Lawyers representing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in federal court have requested an extension to file a proposal related to his bail conditions.

In a Feb. 24 filing with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mark Cohen of Cohen & Gressler said the legal team wanted until March 3 to file a proposal for additional bail conditions for Bankman-Fried as well as find a suitable candidate to act as a technical expert in the case. The lawyers agreed to hire an expert following a Feb. 16 hearing discussing the former FTX CEO’s use of a virtual private network, or VPN.

“The parties have been diligently vetting candidates to serve as the Court’s technical consultant but have not yet identified a suitable candidate,” said the filing. “Similarly, the parties have been engaged in productive discussions about additional bail conditions for Mr. Bankman-Fried but would like more time to complete those discussions.”

Cohen added:

“The Government has no objection to this request. The parties also have no objection to continuing Mr. Bankman-Fried’s current bail conditions for whatever period the Court deems appropriate while these discussions are taking place.”

Judge Lewis Kaplan suggested that he could add additional restrictions to Bankman-Fried’s $250-million bail conditions following a report SBF used a VPN on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12. Lawyers representing the former CEO claimed he used the technology to watch football games, but still agreed to have Bankman-Fried stop using VPNs until the court could reach a decision on the matter.

SBF has largely been confined to his parent’s California home since being arraigned in December 2022, but has been brought back to court a few times to face proceedings related to his bail conditions. Court documents stated that the former FTX CEO attempted to contact former FTX employees using encrypted messaging apps. Judge Kaplan has also hinted at revoking SBF’s bail entirely, likely leaving him in federal custody until his October criminal trial.

Related: Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang plead guilty to fraud charges

The court unsealed a superseding indictment against Bankman-Fried on Feb. 22 containing 12 criminal counts, and not the 8 charges he originally faced on Dec. 13. The indictment included a charge for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and details on his alleged unlawful political contributions — using straw donors to make contributions totaling “tens of millions of dollars.”

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