DOJ Seeks Jail Time For Sam Bankman-Fried Citing NYT Article Debacle 14

DOJ Seeks Jail Time For Sam Bankman-Fried Citing NYT Article Debacle

  • The U.S. Justice Department is seeking Sam Bankman-Fried’s incarceration over his role in the NYT’s controversial article. 
  • The New York Times recently published an article with the private writings of former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison. 
  • The Justice Department wants SBF’s bail revoked due to his continuous witness tampering attempts. 
  • The New York Times recently wrote to the judge overseeing SBF’s case defending the latter’s recent actions. 

The United States Department of Justice is seeking the revocation of Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail due to his role in an article published by the New York Times last month that has stirred up controversy over the past two weeks. In a recent letter to SDNY Judge Lewis Kaplan, federal prosecutors from the Justice Department cited multiple attempts by the disgraced FTX founder to tamper with witnesses and urged the judge to put him behind bars. 

DOJ Wants Sam Bankman-Fried Detained Pending Trial In October

The Department of Justice highlighted the acknowledgment by Sam Bankman-Fried’s defense team regarding his involvement in the New York Times article on former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. Bankman-Fried provided Ellison’s diary to NYT, which contained private writings about her time at the now-defunct crypto firm. 

Federal prosecutors told Judge Kaplan that the FTX founder shared Ellison’s private writings to influence the public’s perception of her, given that she is set to testify against him after pleading guilty in the lawsuit against FTX. The prosecutors believe that Bankman-Fried’s actions amount to a federal felony while out on bail, and asked Judge Kaplan to revoke the same till his trial hearings begin on October 2, 2023. 

Interestingly, the New York Times wrote to Judge Kaplan on August 2, 2023, in what appeared to be an attempt to defend Sam Bankman-Fried’s decision to share Caroline Ellison’s private diary. The NYT argued their article was in the “public’s legitimate interest” given Ellison’s proximity to the case and knowledge of FTX and Alameda’s inner workings. 

The New York Times also cited the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech and the press, among other things. The news giant asked the court to make its decision in Bankman-Fried’s bail revocation matter in accordance with the First Amendment. Paul Grewal, the Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase, stated that NYT’s invocation of the First Amendment for a bail revocation hearing was unprecedented.