Bankman-Fried of FTX strives for a gag order for all witnesses in criminal proceedings

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, has agreed to accept a gag order prohibiting him from making comments to third parties that could interfere with his process. However, he has expressed the view that other potential witnesses should also be subject to the same restrictions, including FTX’s current CEO, John Ray.

Speaking ban has been requested

On July 20, a gag order was filed against Sam Bankman-Fried after the US government accused him of interfering with due process by publicly discrediting former business partner and witness Caroline Ellison in an interview with the New York Times. The US government claimed that this action was intended to influence the process.

On July 22, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys, Cohen & Gresser LLP, filed a letter with United States District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in New York denying the government’s allegations. Despite this, they agreed to accept the gag order as requested.

A gag order is a legal order often issued by a court to prevent information or comments from being disclosed or shared with unauthorized third parties. In this particular case, it means Bankman-Fried can no longer make comments designed to discredit a government witness by sharing confidential information that could influence the jury.

Order_Request

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have agreed to the waiver, but they also want the same gag order imposed on all parties and witnesses who may be involved in his criminal trial.

However, we respectfully request that such relief not only apply to Mr. Bankman-Fried, but also to all “parties and witnesses”, namely the government and all potential witnesses in this case.

According to the lawyers, this request would involve the US government, former employees of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, FTX Debtor entities, Alameda Research and other potential witnesses involved in the case.

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The lawyers stated that the request stems from the existence of a “toxic media environment” surrounding their client since the collapse of the crypto exchange. They emphasized that FTX CEO John Ray was one of the main causes of this situation. They said the following about this:

Specifically, the current CEO of the FTX Debtor Entities, John J. Ray III, who has routinely (and unnecessarily) attacked and defamed Mr. Bankman-Fried in his public comments and filings in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings.

According to the lawyers, Mr Ray’s repeated ad hominem attacks on Mr Bankman-Fried have little to do with his role in recovering assets for FTX creditors and seem more focused on publicly defaming Mr Bankman-Fried. This makes Mr. Bankman-Fried feel compelled to respond,” the lawyers added.

The law firm argued that the US government is using double standards by promoting several articles that sought to damage SBF’s reputation. This formed the basis of their request for an equivalent gag order against SBF.

SBF has pleaded not guilty to a series of fraud charges related to its alleged role in the bankruptcy of FTX. The trial for the SBF fraud allegations begins on October 3.

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