Judge sends Bankman-Fried to jail for witness tampering

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail was revoked on Friday after a judge ruled in favor of federal prosecutors.

He was placed back in custody directly from the court hearing, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rescinded Bankman-Fried’s bail due to reported witness tampering on his behalf. Prosecutors claimed the meddling included harassing a key witness by sharing her private details with a journalist and contacting the general counsel of FTX via encrypted communication. 

Kaplan agreed there was probable cause to believe Bankman-Fried tried to “tamper with witnesses at least twice” since he was first arrested.

The revoke means the former cryptocurrency tycoon is headed to jail. He was originally charged with multiple financial crimes by the U.S. government in December, including wire fraud and money laundering.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued he should not be jailed for attempts to protect his reputation as negative media depictions swirl around him. 

Attorney Mark Cohen asked the judge to suspend his incarceration order, but Kaplan rejected. Within an hour, according to AP, they had filed a notice of appeal.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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