The New York Times Defends its Piece on Ellison
- The New York Times officials argued that Ellison’s role in the FTX saga made her a person of interest to the public.
- The media outlet urged the court to uphold First Amendment rights by allowing access to information on the case.
- Prosecutors recently accused Bankman-Fried of witness tampering.
The media organization The New York Times has defended its viral piece on former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, which prosecutors claim could tamper with the ongoing case. However, the news outlet defended its article, claiming the media and the public deserved significant information on a “central participant in a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars.”
In a filing to the court handling the Bankman-Fried case, the New York Times urged the court to uphold the First Amendment by allowing access to key people involved in the case. The company expressed concerns about a gag order that forbids 31-year-old Bankman-Fried from sharing details of the case with media organizations.
Prosecutors had previously accused the FTX founder of sharing documents with a New York Times reporter, which was used in a piece about Ellison, who, aside from working as Bankman-Fried’s colleague, was also his lover.
The New York Times piece shared insight into some of Ellison’s private journals, where she wrote about her conflicting emotions about working at Alameda Research and her complicated relationship with Bankman-Fried.
The company’s vice president and deputy general counsel David McCraw argued that Bankman-Fried was not a lawyer, which meant that he was subjected to less strict gag orders than would have applied to a lawyer.
McCraw wrote that “while the current round of motion practice was prompted by a Times article about Caroline Ellison, and the Government argues that the article was part of the defendant’s effort to interfere with the trial, that overlooks the public’s legitimate interest—independent of this prosecution—in Ms. Ellison and her activities at her cryptocurrency trading firm.”
McCraw argued that Ellison has “confessed to being a central participant in a financial scheme that defrauded investors of billions of dollars—a scheme that was not detected by government regulators and law enforcement agencies until the public’s money had disappeared.”
McCraw also claimed that Elison’s role in the FTX scandal made her one of the primary figures of interest to the public, who would want access to information about her.
The New York Times’ filing comes as prosecutors demand that Judge Kaplan revoke Bankman-Fried’s bail term. Although prosecutors recently dropped a charge related to campaign finance fraud, Bankman-Fried is still facing 12 other counts.