The attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried have struck a settlement with the federal prosecutors who are investigating his usage of chat applications.
SBF “must not utilise any encrypted or ephemeral call of messaging programme, including but not limited to Signal,” according to a document filed with the court on February 6. This agreement was reached between both sides.
However, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the former CEO of FTX will be permitted to use FaceTime, Zoom, iMessage, SMS text, email, and Facebook Messenger.
Additionally, he will be permitted to use the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp; but, this privilege will be contingent upon the installation of monitoring gear on his mobile device “that automatically records and retains all WhatsApp interactions.”
The most recent deal is the result of efforts made by federal prosecutors before the end of January to prevent SBF from contacting current or former workers of FTX or its sibling trading business, Alameda Research.
Specifically, on January 15, prosecutors made the allegation that SBF had sought to “influence” the testimony of FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller via the use of the encrypted communications software Signal.
On the 30th of January, it was also alleged that SBF had contacted FTX CEO John Ray in order to investigate methods in which business monies that were related to Alameda wallets might be accessed.
As things stand, a ruling from February 1 states that in order for SBF to remain free on bail until his trial, he is not allowed to communicate with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda Research “except in the presence of counsel.” This restriction applies to all interactions with such individuals.
Since the end of December, SBF has been placed under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, and the beginning of his criminal trial in federal court in Manhattan is slated to take place in the month of October.
In the meanwhile, the district court in Delaware is making progress with the bankruptcy procedures for FTX. The Chief Executive Officer of FTX, Ray, gave evidence in court on February 6 and recalled how challenging it was for him to take control of the firm in November.
Ray said that “not a single list of anything” pertaining to bank accounts, income, insurance, or people could be located at FTX, which caused a frantic and disorganised search for information to take place.
FTX fell victim to hackers on the same day that he started directing the company through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy procedures.
“Those hackers continued on almost all night long. It was truly 48 hours of what I can only characterise as utter horror,” he added. “Those hacks went on basically all night long.”