SBF Agrees to Gag Order, Requests One for Rivals Too

SBF Agrees to Gag Order, Requests One for Rivals Too

As Sam Bankman-Fried’s trial draws ever closer, the prosecution has taken action to prevent him from tampering with witnesses in the case by attempting to influence them one way or another.

SBF Suspected of Ellison Leak

The moment FTX collapsed, Sam Bankman-Fried started an “apology tour,” telling various reporters and government representatives that he hadn’t done anything wrong and making excuses for the mismanagement of his former empire.

It all concluded in a whiny yet trite substack post explaining how FTX had actually been solvent until John J Ray III took over. His arrest followed soon after.

Although SBF has already been barred from directly interacting with witnesses, following his attempts to reach out to Ray and several former FTX employees, the prosecution suspects that he is still attempting to manipulate public opinion of key witnesses, something that could be very helpful for him in a jury trial.

Last week, an anonymous source leaked Caroline Ellison’s private diary to the media. Despite the purported anonymity, U.S. government representatives strongly believe the leaker responsible for the New York Times story to be none other than SBF himself, given the circumstances.

As a result, the prosecution sought a gag order for SBF in order to prevent further shenanigans.

“In addition to tainting the jury pool, the effect, if not the intent, of the defendant’s conduct is not only to harass Ellison but also to deter other potential trial witnesses from testifying. As the Government prepares for trial, a common refrain from witnesses’ attorneys […] is witness hesitation about testifying in a case that has received persistent national and international media attention.”

SBF Accepts, Requests One of His Own

Responding to the request, SBF’s legal team accepted the gag order instead of fighting it in court.

However, his legal team also requested that a similar one be placed on John J Ray III, on the prosecution, and on various other potential sources. The rationale behind this request is that the jury might be unduly influenced by reading about SBF’s exploits in the press. Ray is specifically mentioned as targeting SBF with ad hominem attacks.

“Mr. Ray’s repeated ad hominem attacks on Mr. Bankman-Fried—which have very little do with his role recovering assets for FTX creditors and seem more directed towards publicly vilifying Mr. Bankman-Fried—have, along with other negative coverage, created a toxic media environment that has left Mr. Bankman-Fried with little choice but to respond.”

The irony of the situation is that Bankman-Fried did a very good job of vilifying himself before he was arrested, whether out of genuine belief or due to an obviously faulty strategy.

It’s doubtful that Judge Kaplan will rule in favor of the return gag order request. Even if he were to do so, SBF’s alleged misdeeds have already been extensively covered by various reputable journalistic institutes.


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