FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been jailed after being accused of attempting to intimidate witnesses ahead of his impending trial for fraud.
The 31-year-old was this evening ordered by a judge to await trial behind bars.
Prosecutors told Judge Lewis Kaplan they had evidence he was attempting to interfere with the trial process by intimidating a person or persons expected to testify against him.
The former FTX chief denied the accusations.
Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to eight fraud charges in December. His trial has been set for October.
He was arrested at his home in the Bahamas on December 12 and was extradited to the US on December 21 in the wake of the collapse of the FTX exchange.
In July, the disgraced entrepreneur was accused of funding his legal team with millions taken from FTX’s hedge fund – Alameda Research – which was said to have been gifted by Bankman-Fried’s father, the Stanford University law professor Joseph Bankman.
The July lawsuit, filed in Delaware, claimed a ‘Bankman Gift Transfer’ was made from his own FTX account to his “father’s personal account on the FTX US exchange”.
“On information and belief, Bankman-Fried’s father has been using this ‘gift’ to finance Bankman-Fried’s criminal defense,” the lawsuit stated.
Documents alleged Bankman-Fried transferred sums to his father in January 2022, after initially moving the $10 million “containing debtor assess” to an account under his own name. It claimed the $10m was then transferred to Joseph Bankman moments later.
“In an email exchange, Bankman-Fried and his father discussed structuring the $10 million gift as a loan from Alameda to Bankman-Fried,” the document added.
Lawyers acting for investors in the FTX exchange are currently pursuing a slew of charges against Bankman-Fried and co-founder Gary Wang, director Nishad Singh and former Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison.
Damages estimated at $1 billion are being sought.