Bankman-Fried Should Have Only Flip Phone, Website Whitelist, DOJ Says

The bail conditions clampdown comes after suspicions of witness tampering.

AccessTimeIconMar 4, 2023 at 7:37 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 6, 2023 at 7:44 p.m. UTC

Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions should restrict his use of the internet, including the use of a noninternet-connected flip phone, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice proposed in court filings late Friday.

The proposal made to District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York follows suspicions that the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX had attempted to contact witnesses while on bail for charges including wire fraud and money laundering, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Bankman-Fried’s laptop will be restricted to a whitelist of approved websites, including news, sports, Wikipedia and the U.S government, and his use of video games and other connected applications should be restricted, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a filing that said it was made “on behalf of the parties,” suggesting the former FTX executive's defense counsel had agreed to the conditions.

The filing said that Bankman-Fried's parents would have to sign affidavits attesting to the internet-connected devices in their homes, affirming they would not bring in additional devices and install monitoring software. They would also have to ensure Bankman-Fried could not use their devices.

The government moved to tighten bail conditions after revelations that Bankman-Fried had used a virtual private network, and at an earlier hearing Kaplan appeared skeptical of claims that he used the online privacy device merely to watch football.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.