On Tuesday, the former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), appeared in court with his newly appointed lawyer Mark Cohen, and his legal team asked the Bahamian judge Joyann Ferguson-Pratt to release SBF on bail with an ankle bracelet. Amid the lengthy court hearing reports detail that SBF’s parents Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried attended the proceedings. Toward the end of the hearing, judge Ferguson-Pratt denied SBF’s request to be released on bail and remanded Bankman-Fried to the Bahamian jail until Feb. 8, 2023.
Bankman-Fried’s Media Tour Comes to an End, AFR Report Claims FTX Insiders Had a Secret Signal Chat Group Called ‘Wirefraud’
During the first week of November, the co-founder of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) world turned upside down. It all started when Coindesk published an expose on SBF’s quantitative trading firm Alameda Research and the enormous balance of FTT tokens the company held. After the report, FTX and Alameda were under the spotlight and Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) revealed his exchange would be dumping all of its FTT tokens.
These two events fueled speculation that FTX and Alameda were insolvent and on Nov. 8, 2022, Binance said it would purchase FTX after doing due diligence into the company’s financials. However, the deal never panned out, and at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 9, 2022, the world’s largest crypto asset exchange by trade volume announced it would be backing out of purchasing FTX.
At this point in time, all the digital assets from FTX’s coffers were either withdrawn by customers (many of whom were Bahamas natives) or simply disappeared. Two days after Binance backed out of the deal, SBF announced that FTX and Alameda had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, alongside roughly 130 associated companies.
SBF also revealed he had stepped down from his position as FTX’s CEO and John J. Ray III took the position in order to deal with the bankruptcy and restructuring process. Since the bankruptcy filing, SBF embarked on a media tour doing a large number of interviews, while a significant amount of troubling evidence was being reported by numerous media publications.
Prior to SBF’s arrest in The Bahamas, a report published by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) detailed that FTX’s SBF and his inner circle used a secret chat group called “Wirefraud.” AFR’s United States correspondent Matthew Cranston said “[AFR] has [learned] that FTX founders Sam Bankman-Fried and Zixiao ‘Gary’ Wang, along with FTX engineer Nishad Singh and former Alameda Research chief executive Caroline Ellison, used a chat group on Signal in the hope that the information would remain hidden.”
24 after the AFR report was published, Bankman-Fried was arrested. The FTX co-founder was also indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, and charged with eight counts of financial fraud by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) prosecutor Damian Williams. SBF was further charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
SBF’s Legal Team Attempts to Get the Co-Founder out of Jail, Bahamian Judge Denies Bail, Disgraced FTX Co-Founder Gets Escorted out of Courthouse in Handcuffs
The same day, SBF appeared in court and his legal team attempted to get him released on bail. One report notes that Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, SBF’s parents, attended the court hearing. SBF’s mother allegedly laughed out loud every time her son was called a “fugitive,” and his father put his fingers in his ears. His lawyer, Mark Cohen, the attorney who represented Ghislaine Maxwell during her sex trafficking trial, attempted to get SBF released on $250,000 bail.
Cohen is quoted as saying that his client “suffered from depression, insomnia, and ADD for over a decade.” During the hearing, prosecutors argued that SBF was a “flight risk” due to all of his financial connections. However, judge Ferguson-Pratt did not seem swayed by the claims that said SBF suffered from alleged mental issues, and the fact that SBF had surrendered his passport.
Judge Ferguson-Pratt told the court that bail was denied and SBF was to remain in custody until his Feb. 8, 2023 court hearing. Following the decision, the New York Post reports that SBF lowered his head, and gave his parents a hug before being escorted out of the courthouse in handcuffs.
What do you think about SBF’s recent arrest and the accusations that say his inner circle were part of a secret chat group called “Wirefraud?” What do you think about the Bahamian judge denying SBF’s bail? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.