US Department of Justice Proposes New Bail Conditions for Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried

The United States Department of Justice has proposed new bail conditions for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), according to a court filing made on March 3. The proposed bail conditions are aimed at addressing outstanding issues raised at the last conference. The proposed conditions include limitations on devices and applications that the defendant is allowed to use, and restrictions on contact with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda.

The parties proposed that the temporary conditions imposed by the court be adopted as part of the defendant’s bail conditions. This includes prohibiting the defendant from contacting or communicating with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda, except in the presence of counsel, unless an individual is exempted in writing by the Government or Court. The defendant is also prohibited from using any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including but not limited to “Signal.” Furthermore, the defendant is prohibited from using a VPN, except as explicitly authorized in his bail conditions.

Sam Bankman-Fried

The parties proposed that the defendant be limited to the use of a flip phone or other non-smartphone, which is either without internet capabilities or with internet capabilities disabled. The phone’s serial number, IMEI number, IMSI number, MAC address, and SIM number will be provided to the Court and the Government. The communication function on the phone will be limited to SMS text messages and voice calls and all other message applications will be prohibited. The defendant will also be allowed to use a new laptop with limited functionalities.

The defendant’s new laptop will be configured so that he is only able to log on to the internet through the use of specified VPNs, and that the VPNs only permit the defendant to access websites that have been whitelisted through the VPNs. An authorized VPN installed on the laptop would allow the defendant to access the cloud-hosted FTX read-only database that has been provided as part of discovery. Additionally, a VPN installed by defense counsel’s law firm on to the laptop would allow access to the internet only through the use of the VPN and only to the specifically whitelisted sites.

The defendant’s laptop will be installed with monitoring and security software that will log the defendant’s user activity, which will be stored in a cloud-based repository maintained by defense counsel, and to which Pretrial Services will be given access to perform periodic checks of the activity logs at their discretion. The defendant will not object to the installation of court-authorized pen registers on his phone number, Gmail account, and internet service, which will be sought by the Government and maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lastly, the defendant must submit his electronic devices to a search on the basis that Pretrial Services has a reasonable suspicion that evidence of a violation of a condition of release may be found. Furthermore, the defendant shall not purchase, acquire, or otherwise obtain any new cellphones, tablets, computers, or other electronic devices used to access the internet.

The proposed bail conditions also address the presence of the defendant’s parents’ devices in the home. The defendant’s mother and father will submit sworn affidavits listing their respective devices with serial numbers and MAC addresses.

The United States v. Samuel Bankman-Fried case, which involves the alleged violations of anti-money laundering regulations and illegal trade, has drawn attention from the crypto industry. The proposed bail conditions, if approved, will put severe restrictions on SBF’s daily operations and limit his access to technology, including encrypted communication tools.

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