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Sam Bankman-Fried Seeks Access to FTX Crypto in Fraud Trial

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, have argued that their client should be allowed access to assets and crypto held by the company.

Sam Bankman-Fried
Sam Bankman-Fried

They claim no evidence linking Bankman-Fried to previously alleged unauthorized transactions.

As part of his bail conditions in a fraud trial, Bankman-Fried is currently prohibited from accessing cryptocurrency held by FTX and its trading arm, Alameda Research, after the government pointed to illicit transfers made from Alameda wallets. The bar includes crypto purchased with FTX or Alameda funds.

In a Jan. 28 letter, Bankman-Fried's lawyer, Mark Cohen, argued that the bail condition should be removed given that its sole basis has not been supported. He also stated that the restriction would place an unnecessary strain on Bankman-Fried's resources and prejudice his ability to defend the case.

In a separate filing, the U.S. Department of Justice requested a communications ban as an additional bail condition, stating that Bankman-Fried had attempted to contact FTX's General Counsel Ryne Miller, a potential witness in the case. Cohen's response broadly agreed with the restriction but stated that Bankman-Fried should still have access to some former staffers, including his therapist.