Sam Bankman-Fried Wants to Seal Caroline Ellison's Diary, Inner City Press Opposes

Inner City Press was previously involved in opposing Bankman-Fried's bid to keep bail co-signers secret, and has now asked the court to schedule a hearing on the matter if required.

AccessTimeIconJul 28, 2023 at 6:51 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 28, 2023 at 7:22 a.m. UTC
  • Sam Bankman-Fried asked the court to seal Caroline Ellison's personal documents.
  • Judge Kaplan had earlier imposed a temporary gag order on all parties involved in the case as he considered the DOJ's request to send Bankman-Fried back to jail for the remainder of his time before the criminal trial.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has asked the court to seal the private diary of his sometimes girlfriend and ex-Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, while Inner City Press has opposed the move, according to court filings.

Bankman-Fried is facing the possibility of heading back to jail. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asked Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York to make the FTX founder spend the remainder of his time in jail before his criminal trial begins. The DOJ had accused Bankman-Fried of leaking Ellison's private diary to The New York Times and trying to tamper with witnesses multiple times.

"The presumption of access to these documents is greatly outweighed by the need to avoid their public dissemination at this time," Bankman-Fried's lawyer wrote to the court.

Judge Kaplan declined to jail Bankman-Fried immediately, but put a temporary gag order on parties and witnesses” from "publicly disseminating or discussing with any public communications media anything about the case which could interfere with a fair trial." Judge Kaplan also set out a rapid schedule for both the prosecution and the defense to make formal written submissions on the matter.

New York's Inner City Press, a publication that covers court proceedings in the city's federal court, was previously involved in opposing Bankman-Fried's bid to keep secret the identity of his bail co-signers, and asked the court to schedule a hearing on the matter if required.

"Again this defendant is being treated different than other defendants in this District," Inner City's Matthew Russell Lee wrote to the court opposing the sealing of documents Bankman-Fried already provided to The New York Times. "This is an application for this court to grant or if necessary schedule a hearing on this challenge to the proposed withholding of this information."

Bankman-Fried is currently set to go on trial in October on various charges, including securities and wire fraud allegations. A second trial on additional charges, including bank fraud and bribery allegations, is scheduled for next March. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jack Schickler contributed reporting.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.