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Sam Bankman-Fried is going to jail

Sam Bankman-Fried.
Enlarge / Sam Bankman-Fried.

A federal judge in New York today ordered disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s to jail after revoking his bail, The New York Times reported.

Bankman-Fried had been under house arrest, but prosecutors convinced Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan that Bankman-Fried had fed documents to the media in order to intimidate a witness in the case. Now Bankman-Fried has to prepare his defense to 13 criminal charges from jail.

In June, Bankman-Fried filed a motion to dismiss, hoping that some of those charges would be dropped. But Kaplan decided that his arguments in the motion were “either moot or without merit,” CNN reported.

A New York Times report was among media stories that the prosecution shared to convince the court to give Bankman-Fried jail time. In that report, Bankman-Fried shared private writings of Caroline Ellison, a former FTX executive and former girlfriend to Bankman-Fried who has pled guilty and is currently cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation of the cryptocurrency exchange, the Times reported.

Prosecutors claimed that Bankman-Fried shared Ellison’s communications to intimidate her. The court found that Bankman-Fried tampered with witnesses at least twice, Reuters reported.

It wasn’t just the New York Times report that alarmed the court, however. Bankman-Fried’s other communications with the media led the prosecution to request a gag order to block all talks with the media.

According to The New York Times, “The Times, the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, and a documentarian making a film” about Bankman-Fried “each submitted court filings raising First Amendment concerns about the gag order.”

Bankman-Fried requested his detention be delayed, pending an appeal of the order revoking his bail, Reuters reported, but the judge denied that request.

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