Former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), is facing new bail conditions proposed by the United States Department of Justice. The proposal was presented to District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York and includes a prohibition on the use of smartphones, tablets, computers or any video game platform or devices that allow chat and voice communication. Instead, Bankman-Fried communication would be restricted to a “flip phone or other non-smartphone phone without Internet capabilities or with Internet capabilities disabled.”
The proposal was reportedly negotiated with Bankman-Fried’s defense team, who asked to submit a proposal by March 3. It also requests that the recently imposed temporary bail conditions be made permanent. These temporary conditions include the prohibition of contact or communication with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda Research, except in the presence of an attorney, and the prohibition of using any encrypted or ephemeral calling or messaging applications, as well as a VPN.
In addition, the proposal states that Bankman-Fried’s laptop would be monitored by security software that would record his online activity. The proposal also states that Bankman-Fried will not oppose the installation of court-authorized call logs on his phone number, Gmail account, and Internet service, which will be searched by the government and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. .
Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail has been under scrutiny since February 9, after it was discovered that she had contacted potential witnesses in her case. He was also temporarily banned from using a VPN after prosecutors accused him of using it on two occasions, on January 29 and February 12.
The court unsealed a superseding indictment against Bankman-Fried on February 22, containing 12 criminal counts, including eight counts of fraud-related conspiracy, as well as four counts of wire fraud and securities fraud. Bankman-Fried has yet to plead guilty in the case.
The proposed bail conditions are likely an attempt to prevent Bankman-Fried from tampering with witnesses or committing further crimes while awaiting trial. The case against him is still ongoing, and it remains to be seen how the court will ultimately rule on the proposed conditions.