Ex-FTX CEO Denies Trying to Influence Witness in Court Filing
• Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX, denied trying to sway a potential witness in a court filing.
• The witness in question is the General Counsel for FTX US, Ryne Miller, who may be a witness at trial.
• U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, accused Bankman-Fried of contacting Miller via an encrypted messaging app with the intent to influence Miller’s testimony.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has denied allegations that he attempted to influence a potential witness in a court filing. According to a Jan. 27 filing by U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, Bankman-Fried is accused of sending an encrypted message on Jan. 15 to the General Counsel for FTX US, Ryne Miller. Williams suggested that Bankman-Fried’s message was an attempt to sway Miller’s testimony, as Miller holds information that could incriminate Bankman-Fried.
The message sent by Bankman-Fried read, “I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible, or at least vet things with each other.” Williams noted that Miller was present at the company during its collapse and was part of company groups on messaging apps such as Signal and Slack. According to Williams, Bankman-Fried had instructed employees to modify and delete records related to FTX’s business, which is a possible violation of federal law.
In response to the accusations, Bankman-Fried has denied any wrongdoing and has requested that the court not impose restrictions on his communications. Bankman-Fried claims that he was simply trying to reach out to Miller in order to form a constructive relationship. He also argues that any information Miller might have is already known to the government from previous investigations.
At this time, it is unclear what action the court will take in response to Bankman-Fried’s denial. However, it is likely that Bankman-Fried could face contact restrictions if the court finds that he did indeed attempt to influence Miller’s testimony.