Sam Bankman-Fried Wants Everyone to Stop Talking

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  • Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to limit his public discussions about his trial
  • Bankman-Fried leaked diary entries of Caroline Ellison to the New York Times
  • Prosecutors believe his actions could mislead a potential jury

Sam Bankman-Fried has agreed to reign in his public discussions about his forthcoming trial but has demanded that others do the same. Bankman-Fried is suspected of leaking former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s personal diary to the New York Times, leading the Department of Justice to inform the judge in Bankman-Fried’s federal case and requesting a ban on further leaks to avoid prejudicing Ellison’s trial. Bankman-Fried has indicated that he agrees to the gag order but has insisted it applies to his legal opponents too, who he argues are also swaying any potential jury ahead of the trial with their characterizations and criticisms of their client.

Bankman-Fried Was Source

It didn’t take long for the leaking of Ellison’s diaries last week to be linked to her former boss and boyfriend. The entries revealed doubts about Ellison’s abilities as well as concerns about her job and leadership qualities following her breakup with Bankman-Fried. The Attorney General demanded action, stating that leaking personal writings could taint the jury pool and deter other potential trial witnesses.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team responded to this yesterday, saying that the Government had “taken a set of circumstances where nothing improper or impermissible occurred and has unfairly recast the events as a nefarious attempt by Mr. Bankman-Fried to “discredit” Caroline Ellison and “taint” the jury pool.” Since the filing didn’t directly name Bankman-Fried as the source, his team said that they “vigorously contest the Government’s allegation that Mr. Bankman-Fried attempted to taint the jury pool or influence a witness, or that the Government has been prejudiced in any way.”

Despite this denial, Bankman-Fried’s team says that it will stop him from conducting such activities in the future, but hit out at the way that the former FTX CEO has been treated by the other side:

This toxic media environment has been created and fostered in multiple fora [sic] by many of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s detractors—most notably, the current CEO of the FTX Debtor entities, John J. Ray III, who has routinely (and gratuitously) attacked and vilified Mr. Bankman-Fried in his public comments and filings in the FTX bankruptcy proceedings. 

Due to this, his team wants the same treatment to be handed out to “all “parties and witnesses”,” including “all current and former employees of FTX, Alameda Research, and the FTX Debtor entities, including John Ray.”

Judge Kaplan will rule on this motion in the coming weeks, although it it unlikely he will allow John Ray III to stop talking about FTX in the interim.