FTX’s ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried banned from using Signal app

The former billionaire and ex-CEO of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX was not allowed to use any encrypted messaging apps as part of his release conditions

February 07, 2023 01:21 pm | Updated 04:39 pm IST

File photo of the Signal app logo on a smartphone

File photo of the Signal app logo on a smartphone | Photo Credit: Reuters

The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been ordered by a court judge to not use encrypted messaging apps like Signal, as part of his release conditions until the next hearing, according to court filings dated February 1.

“The defendant shall not use any encrypted or ephemeral call or messaging application, including but not limited to Signal,” said United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

The order came after prosecutors alleged that Mr. Bankman-Fried had reached out to what the filings referred to as a “potential witness at trial” through Signal, to strike up a conversation and invite them to “reconnect” and “vet things with each other.”

Mr. Bankman-Fried was arrested on December 12, 2022 in the Bahamas, based on a request from the U.S. government, soon after his crypto exchange crashed following mass withdrawals and a liquidity crunch.

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There are also allegations of fraud and money laundering as Mr. Bankman-Fried stands accused of using his FTX customers’ funds to support its sister firm Alameda Research.

A cash-starved FTX has reached out to the politicians to whom it made donations, in order to demand that the money be returned, reported The Guardian on February 6.

The legal proceedings are ongoing.

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