The names of the people who guaranteed bail for Sam Bankman-Fried will be made public.
A federal judge on Monday (Jan. 30) ruled that the people who backed the accused FTX founder should be a matter of public record, Reuters reported.
However, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan also put his ruling on hold pending appeal. He said the names will stay sealed at least Feb. 7, because “the question presented here is novel and an appeal is likely.”
The ruling sided with a number of media outlets that wanted the names made public. Kaplan said that while the public had only a “weak” right to know the names of the guarantors, it trumped Bankman-Fried’s arguments for confidentiality, including that the guarantors’ safety could be in danger, the Reuters report said.
Bankman-Fried, 30, was charged last month with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy stemming from the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange he founded. He pleaded not guilty and was allowed to post $250 million bail. He has been confined to his parents’ house in California as he prepares to go to trial in October.
Earlier this month, he sought to have the names of the people who guaranteed his bail redacted, even before they had officially signed on, PYMNTS wrote.
“The two remaining sureties are publicly identified, they will likely be subjected to probing media scrutiny, and potentially targeted for harassment, despite having no substantive connection to the case,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said in a letter to the judge.
“Consequently, the privacy and safety of the sureties are ‘countervailing factors’ that significantly outweigh the presumption of public access to the very limited information at issue.”
Attorneys from both sides have been busy the past few days, with prosecutors asking the judge to expand Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions to block his use of encrypted messaging apps and bar him from getting in contact with current and former FTX employees.
This came after Bankman-Fried apparently sent an email to John J. Ray — FTX’s new CEO — and used an encrypted messaging platform to contact FTX US’s general counsel.
Prosecutors say this communication is an example of witness tampering, a charge defense attorney Mark S. Cohen has disputed.
Cohen argued Bankman-Fried’s communication with the FTX attorney was “merely an innocuous attempt to offer assistance in FTX’s bankruptcy process and does not reflect misconduct that warrants the restriction the Government proposes here.”
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