Disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to meet with the firm’s replacement bankruptcy CEO John Ray III, according to a court filing dated Jan. 30.
That filing disclosed a private message from Bankman-Fried, who contacted Ray on Dec. 30. Bankman-Fried wanted to discuss funds that were being withdrawn from Alameda Research wallets, as reported by various sources at that time.
Bankman-Fried asserted that he had no access to those funds. He warned that a hacker could be responsible if Ray’s own team was not behind the transfer, writing:
“I’ve seen these reports…if this is your team moving the assets to custody, great! If not, I worry it might be a hacker — possibly the same one as a month and a half ago.”
Days later, on Jan. 2, Bankman-Fried followed up on that message by asking John Ray III to meet in New York City. That message, in part, read:
“I know things haven’t gotten off on the right foot but I really do want to be helpful… I’m in NYC for the next day. I’d love to meet up while I’m here even if just to say hi.”
Bankman-Fried also contacted an unnamed witness earlier this month, as previously reported. That witness is believed to be FTX US General Counsel Ryne Miller. Neither Ray nor Miller responded to Bankman-Fried’s original messages.
Government prosecutors submitted the relevant messages as part of an attempt to restrict Bankman-Fried’s communications. Prosecutors are concerned that Bankman-Fried could affect witnesses in his criminal case through private conversations. As such, prosecutors aim to prevent Bankman-Fried from using encrypted or self-deleting messaging apps and prevent him from contacting current and former FTX associates.
However, prosecutors did not submit the relevant conversations immediately after making that request on Jan. 27. Judge Lewis Kaplan asked for the prosecutors to submit conversation transcripts by today, Jan. 30, before proceeding. As of Monday afternoon, the judge has not made a decision on whether to impose the communications ban.
Though Bankman-Fried is able to speak publicly and privately, his decision to do so goes against the advice of his lawyers and could harm his defense.
Ray himself has previously complained about Bankman-Fried’s willingness to talk, calling his statements “erratic and misleading” in relation to FTX’s separate bankruptcy case.
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