US Prosecutors Accuse Bankman-Fried of Witness Manipulation
- Prosecutors believe Bankman-Fried leaked the Google Doc diary to the New York Times to discredit Ellison, who is a possible witness in the case.
- Bankman-Fried is being accused of fraud related to commingling funds at FTX and Alameda Research.
- Ellison pleaded guilty to the charges filed against her and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as a witness against Bankman-Fried.
US prosecutors have accused Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and former CEO of the crypto exchange FTX, of witness tampering, and they have sought a federal judge’s injunction barring the former billionaire and other individuals from speaking out in a way that would compromise the integrity of a fair trial.
In a letter sent to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, the prosecution referenced a New York Times piece titled “Inside the Private Writings of Caroline Ellison, Star Witness in the FTX Case,” which details Ellison’s writings about her relationship with Bankman-Fried before the FTX collapse.
Ellison was one of Bankman-Fried’s associates and lovers. Last year, she pleaded guilty to the charges filed against her and agreed to cooperate with US prosecutors in their case against Bankman-Fried.
The New York Times published excerpts from Ellison’s Google diary entry, which she wrote in February 2022. Ellison, in her diary, complained of feeling incompetent in her role as CEO of Alameda Research and also of her fears of not being good enough for the 31-year-old Bankman-Fried.
“I have been feeling pretty unhappy and overwhelmed with my job. At the end of the day, I can’t wait to go home and turn off my phone, have a drink, and get away from it all,” her diary read.
The U.S. The Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York claims that Bankman-Fried leaked documents to the New York Times to discredit Ellison’s role as a witness and tamper with the credibility of the trial.
Prosecutors wrote that “by selectively sharing certain private documents with the New York Times, the defendant is attempting to discredit a witness, cast Ellison in a poor light, and advance his defense through the press and outside the constraints of the courtroom and rules of evidence: that Ellison was a jilted lover who perpetrated these crimes alone.”
Sam Bankman-Fried is scheduled to go on trial in October following charges of fraud and misappropriating customer funds. Ellison is seen as one of the prosecutor’s major weapons against the 31-year-old, who has maintained his innocence.