SBF's lawyer, Mark Cohen, wrote a letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan as per Jan. 28 court documents.

SBF Requests Access to FTX Funds in Letter to Judge

  • SBF’s lawyer, Mark Cohen, wrote a letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan as per Jan. 28 court documents.
  • Cohen asked Kaplan to let the former FTX CEO access the funds belonging to the exchange.
  • The lawyer also asked the judge to allow SBF to have unlimited contact with his therapist and his father.
  • Cohen also asked Kaplan to allow Bankman-Fried to contact any employee or agent of a foreign regulator outside the presence of attorneys.

The founder of the former multi-billion dollar crypto exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF in the crypto space, is making moves despite being in his parents’ home due to bail conditions. Interestingly, the collapse of FTX has affected many crypto firms, media outlets, government agencies, and more, and the creditors continue to pile up, aiming to liquidate assets and get what they can. 

Court documents from January 28 show that the lawyer hired by SBF, Mark Cohen, wrote a letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan. In the letter, Cohen stated that Bankman-Fried should be granted access to the funds belonging to the exchange and added that the former CEO of the exchange was not responsible for previous unauthorized transactions. 

In November 2022, FTX and its US arm were looking into unauthorized transactions, which saw an outflow of over $659 million as per Nansen data. At that time, SBF denied involvement in these transactions as the exchange continued to investigate the transactions. 

In the letter, Cohen noted that SBF was “prohibited from accessing or transferring any FTX or Alameda assets or cryptocurrency, including assets or cryptocurrency purchased with funds from FTX or Alameda,” as per the request of the US authorities on January 3. The authorities noted at that time that Bankman-Fried couldn’t possibly be behind these transactions, adding that a federal probe was underway. 

“Nearly three weeks have passed since the initial pretrial conference, and we assume that the Government’s investigation has confirmed what Mr. Bankman-Fried has said all along; namely, that he did not access and transfer these assets,” said Cohen in the letter to Kaplan, while adding that the defense informed authorities “as soon as we became aware of the transfers to provide notification.”

Finally, the lawyers for SBF noted that since the former FTX executive wasn’t behind these transactions, he should be given access to the funds belonging to the exchange. 

“Given that the sole basis advanced for seeking that condition has not been supported, we believe that the bail condition imposed at the conference should be removed,” read the letter. 

As reported earlier by Bitnation, the federal prosecutors seek to limit the access that SBF has to people who are former employees of FTX or Alameda Research to prevent possible attempts from Bankman-Fried to influence witnesses in his case. However, the defense added that this is not possible because that would mean that he wouldn’t be able to talk to his therapist, who is a former employee at the exchange. 

“According to public sources, FTX and Alameda had approximately 350 employees. Each of these current and former employees could have information crucial to Mr. Bankman-Fried’s defense. Requiring Mr. Bankman-Fried to include counsel in every communication with a former or current FTX employee would place an unnecessary strain on his resources and prejudice his ability to defend this case,” read the letter.

Parth Dubey
Parth Dubey Verified Author

A crypto journalist with over 3 years of experience in DeFi, NFT, metaverse, etc. Parth has worked with major media outlets in the crypto and finance world and has gained experience and expertise in crypto culture after surviving bear and bull markets over the years.

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