Deposed FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried attempted to meet with the company’s replacement bankruptcy CEO John Ray III, according to a court filing dated today. January 30th.
That filing revealed a private message from Bankman-Fried who contacted Ray on Dec. 30. Bankman-Fried wanted to talk about funds withdrawn from Alameda Research wallets, as reported by various sources at the time.
Bankman-Fried claimed it could not access those funds. He warned that if Ray’s own team wasn’t behind the transfer, hackers could be held responsible, writing:
“I have seen these reports…if this is your team keeping assets under control, great! I have.”
A few days later, on January 2nd, Bankman-Fried followed up on that message by asking John Ray III to meet him in New York City. Here is part of that message:
“I know things aren’t going smoothly, but I really want to help… I’ll be in New York the next day. I’d love to see you while I’m here, even just to say hello.”
Bankman-Fried also contacted an unnamed witness earlier this month, as previously reported. The witness is believed to be FTX US General Counsel Ryne Miller. Neither Ray nor Miller responded to Bankman-Fried’s original message.
Government prosecutors have submitted relevant messages as part of an attempt to limit Bankman-Fried communications. Prosecutors are concerned Bankman-Fried could influence witnesses in criminal cases through private conversations. As such, prosecutors should block Bankman-Fried from using his app for encrypted or self-deleting messages, preventing him from contacting his current and former FTX associates. I am aiming for
But prosecutors did not turn over the relevant conversations shortly after making that request on Jan. 27. Judge Lewis Kaplan told prosecutors to provide a transcript of the conversations by today, Jan. 30. As of Monday afternoon, a judge had not made a decision on whether to impose a communication ban.
Bankman-Fried can speak publicly and privately, but his decision to do so is contrary to the advice of his attorney and may undermine his defense.
Ray himself had previously said his statements were “insane and misleading” regarding another FTX bankruptcy case, and complained about Bankman Freed’s willingness to speak.