Sam Bankman-Fried summoned to NYC by judge over bail rules

Feb 14, 2023, 2:26 PM | Updated: 2:29 pm
Samuel Bankman-Fried departs Manhattan federal court in New York, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in New Yo...

Samuel Bankman-Fried departs Manhattan federal court in New York, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was ordered to return to a New York courtroom this week after the federal judge assigned to his fraud case said he’s communicating with others in ways the government can’t monitor. His lawyers, however, say he was merely accessing postseason NFL football games.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for Thursday to review Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions for the second week in a row. The judge also immediately altered the bail package to ensure Bankman-Fried no longer accesses the internet in ways that can’t be traced.

Bankman-Fried is accused of cheating investors and looting customer deposits on FTX, his cryptocurrency trading platform. It’s allegedly one of the biggest frauds in U.S. history.

Prosecutors notified the judge Monday that Bankman-Fried used a virtual private network, or VPN, to access the internet twice in the last two weeks, including once after last Thursday’s hearing, which focused on restricting his communications.

Prosecutors said in a letter to the judge that a VPN blocks third parties like the government from seeing his online activity, including what websites he visits or what data is sent and received online.

They noted that defense lawyers had correctly pointed out that many people use VPNs for benign purposes.

But prosecutors said a VPN can also be used to disguise the use of international cryptocurrency exchanges, to transfer data without detection and to access the dark web.

On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys — Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell — wrote to the judge to say their client will not use the VPN until the questions about it are resolved.

They defended his use of it, saying he accessed the VPN on Jan. 29 to watch NFL championship games that determine which teams go to the Super Bowl and again on Sunday for the Super Bowl.

The lawyers said Bankman-Fried’s use of the network was not for any of the reasons that the government said were concerns.

Bankman-Fried, 30, has pleaded not guilty to charges lodged against him in December, when he was brought from the Bahamas to the United States. FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 after it ran out of money in the cryptocurrency equivalent of a bank run.

He has been confined with electronic monitoring to his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, after his release on a $250 million personal recognizance bond. A trial has been tentatively set for early October.

Besides cheating investors, he’s also charged with using money he stole from investors to finance political donations as well as risky trades at Alameda Research, his cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


(Facebook Photo/Superior Court of Arizona in Yavapai County)...
Associated Press

Arizona judge has cases reassigned following DUI arrest

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that all cases currently assigned to a Yavapai County Superior Court judge recently arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI will be reassigned to other judges.
4 days ago
Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
7 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
7 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
13 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
21 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...
Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Sam Bankman-Fried summoned to NYC by judge over bail rules