US Judge Rejects Bankman-Fried's Bail Modification Request

The former FTX CEO's attorneys and prosecutors made a joint request to allow him to use certain messaging apps on Monday.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2023 at 3:49 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 7, 2023 at 4:44 p.m. UTC

A federal judge rejected a joint request to modify Sam Bankman-Fried's bail conditions to allow him to use certain messaging tools.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the Southern District of New York, said the motion is "denied without prejudice" until a hearing on Thursday. An attorney for the former FTX exchange CEO requested on Monday that he be allowed to use certain unencrypted messaging applications, as well as WhatsApp with the use of monitoring software.

The attorney, Mark Cohen, said prosecutors had agreed to the proposed modifications, which would have allowed Bankman-Fried to use apps such as FaceTime, Zoom, email and others. He would also be allowed to use WhatsApp, but those conversations would be monitored with logging software.

He would not be allowed to use Signal or similar apps, under the proposed modifications.

Cohen said that if the judge signed off, the defense would "withdraw its request to remove the asset transfer condition" and ask for Thursday's hearing to be canceled.

Judge Kaplan said oral arguments will continue. The hearing is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 2023, 16:00 UTC): Adds additional detail.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.