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HomeMarketDOJ Seeks to Ban Sam Bankman-Fried From Contacting FTX Employees

DOJ Seeks to Ban Sam Bankman-Fried From Contacting FTX Employees

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Friday asked a federal judge to bar FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried from communicating with current and former employees of the collapsed crypto exchange without a lawyer present after prosecutors alleged he recently contacted a potential witness in his criminal case.

Mr. Bankman-Fried, who faces federal charges related to the implosion of FTX, reached out to the general counsel of the company’s U.S. operation through an encrypted messaging application earlier this month, federal prosecutors said in a filing. Prosecutors said Mr. Bankman-Fried has also contacted other current and former FTX employees and are concerned that the communications could lead to witness tampering.

Prosecutors also requested the judge prohibit Mr. Bankman-Fried from communicating through encrypted messaging applications like Slack and Signal, saying that when he headed FTX he directed employees of the company and his crypto-investment firm Alameda Research to set their communications on these platforms to auto-delete after 30 days. That policy has impeded the government’s investigation, prosecutors said.

“Potential witnesses have described relevant and incriminating conversations with the defendant that took place on Slack and Signal that have already been autodeleted because of settings implemented at the defendant’s direction,” prosecutors said in the filing.

A spokesman for Mr. Bankman-Fried declined to comment. FTX’s U.S. general counsel, Ryne Miller, couldn’t immediately be reached.

Read the rest of this article in The Wall Street Journal.

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