• Former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has requested access to crypto assets held by his former firm.
• Bankman-Fried was charged with wire fraud and money laundering and released on bail with the condition that he forgo any access to cryptocurrencies held by FTX and its trading arm, Alameda Research.
• Mark Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, has urged the court to lift this bail condition, as the Government’s investigation has not proven that Bankman-Fried accessed and transferred any assets.
On November 11th, 2022, Sam Bankman-Fried resigned as the CEO of FTX, a crypto exchange, after the firm filed for bankruptcy. Bankman-Fried was then charged with wire fraud and money laundering and released on bail with the condition that he forgo any access to cryptocurrencies held by FTX and its trading arm, Alameda Research. This included any cryptocurrencies purchased using FTX or Alameda money. On January 28th, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, wrote a letter to the court urging the judge to lift this bail condition.
Cohen argued that the defense team had assumed that the Government’s investigation had confirmed Bankman-Fried’s innocence, as no evidence had been presented to the court to prove otherwise. Additionally, a document submitted by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on January 27th stated that the government had no evidence that Bankman-Fried had accessed or transferred any assets related to the case. Cohen argued that, in the absence of any proof, the bail condition should be lifted to allow Bankman-Fried access to the crypto assets.
At the moment, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York has yet to make a decision on the matter. The case is ongoing, and the outcome will be determined in due course.