On August 11, Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York revoked Sam Bankman Fried's (SBF) $250 million bail and sent him into custody. This ruling comes in the wake of the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX facing trial in October.
Why did the court review the decision
The story of the FTX collapse and the prosecution of Sam Bankman Fried stretches back to the autumn of 2022. On December 13, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged him with fraud. Subsequently, on December 22, SBF was released on $250 million bail.
However, the recent decision by Judge Lewis Kaplan to reconsider bail was prompted by SBF's attempts to intimidate witnesses involved in the case. Prosecutors claimed that SBF sought to pressure a key witness, former Alameda Research hedge fund head Caroline Ellison, by handing over her personal diary for publication in the New York Times. The U.S. Department of Justice also made a similar claim.
Now, SBF has been placed in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. If his legal team’s appeal fails, he will spend at least two months in this facility, awaiting trial in the ongoing criminal case. Previously, he had been under house arrest at his parents' residence in Palo Alto, California.
Adam Cochran, a popular figure in the crypto Twitter community and the founder of venture capital fund Cinneamhain Ventures (CEHV), has highlighted contrast between the harsh conditions SBF will now face to his earlier house arrest.