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Time For An SBF Emoji As Fried Given Messaging App Access

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF’s) legal team has agreed with the federal prosecutors regarding Bankman’s use of messaging applications. A court document signed by Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, stipulated that both parties decided concerning SBF’s bail condition. The letter further asserted that the defendant should not use any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging app, including but not limited to Signal.

However, as per the agreement, SBF would be permitted to place voice calls, FaceTime calls, Zoom audio and video calls, SMS text messages, email, and Facebook Messenger. Additionally, the former FTX CEO could use the WhatsApp application. However, this would only occur “if monitoring technology is installed on his cellphone that automatically logs and preserves all WhatsApp communications.”

The court agreement comes as a result of the federal prosecutors requesting the Bankruptcy Court judge to bar SBF from contacting current or former FTX and its sister firm, Alameda Research employees, while on house arrest.

SBF Attempted Connections

In late January, the prosecutors alleged that SBF attempted to contact FTX US general counsel Ryan Miller to sway his case through the encrypted messaging app Signal. Additionally, the federals revealed some messages where SBF was trying to keep in touch with the new FTX CEO, John Ray. In the leaked messages, SBF attempted to address how to access funds linked to Alameda wallets.

However, the February 1 ruling shows that SBF is restrained from communicating with current or former FTX or Alameda Research employees “except in the presence of the counsel.” The ex-crypto mogul has been under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, since late December. Nonetheless, his criminal case will commence on October 1, 2023, in Manhattan United States District Court.

 FTX CEO post-bankruptcy statement 

Aside from SBF, the current FTX CEO, John Ray, has stipulated some of the chaotic experiences at the platform following the exchange declaring bankruptcy. Ray and other professionals have been ‘keenly’ investigating FTX’s activities. Ray asserted in his testimony on February 6 regarding the crypto exchange’s case that this was due to the company’s lack of a physical office. The hearing took place in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, as Judge John Dorsey considered arguments in the motion.

Following Ray’s testimony, when he took over as the FTX CEO in November 2022, there was “not a single list of anything” related to bank account insurance, income, or personnel, causing a vast scramble for information. Additionally, he noted that several attempts to steal crypto were identified the day he began guiding the firm to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. This resulted in security experts and security liquidators moving quickly to secure funds. Ray noted:

Your normal first-day petition is chaotic as sometimes it can be; I have never experienced this. Those hacks went on virtually. It was only 48 hours of what I can describe as pure hell.    

Nonetheless, Ray alleged that he had no links with former FTX or Alameda Research executives before taking control of the exchange. Ray further stipulated that anyone in a control position under SBF’s authority no longer had the power to direct FTX activities.

Request for appointment of an independent examiner to oversee the bankruptcy proceeding

Ray’s testimony came amid debate from the office of the US Trustee. It claimed that the court should appoint an independent examiner who would announce public reports enabling transparency in the bankruptcy proceedings. However, the US Trustee representative, Juliet Sarkessian, suggested that, even though Ray had no connection to SBF before taking over, the appointment of an examiner was still essential for the public. During the February 6 hearing,  the judge monitoring the motion did not decide whether to appoint an independent examiner. However, he allowed lawyers on both parties to discuss a “consensual resolution.”

On the other hand, in the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, the FTX and affected parties seek subpoenas for information and documents from immediate relatives of SBF. In a motion filed in the Bankruptcy Court on February 1, it seeks to glean information from individuals, including Barbara Fried and Gabriel Bankman-Fried, the mother and brother of the former FTX chief executive.

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