Judge Rules SBF Cannot Mention Jail Time Or Effective Altruism In Court

Judge Rules SBF Cannot Mention Jail Time Or Effective Altruism In Court

On Tuesday, a judge issued an order dictating that Sam Bankman-Fried will not be able to mention the time he spent in jail after bail revocation in his criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin next week.

He would also not be permitted to mention any of the charitable works that he has done. Judge Lewis Kaplan issued the order for drawing boundary lines in the six-week trial.

This is a shot at retribution for Sam Bankman-Fried after the downfall of the FTX crypto exchange last year. The judge addressed a number of motions that his lawyers as well as the federal prosecutors had filed.

The charitable works

Seven fraud and conspiracy charges have been filed against Bankman-Fried and he has pled not guilty to all of them.

It has been alleged that he, along with other top executives at FTX, had misappropriated customer funds worth billions of dollars before the crypto exchange collapsed.

Before the downfall of his crypto empire, Bankman-Fried had been known to champion a movement known as Effective Altruism.

Essentially, the movement calls on followers to donate their money to charitable causes in an evidence-based and efficient manner.

Bankman-Fried had used these charitable funds, such as the one including supermodel Gisele Bunchen, to develop a positive public image.

However, Judge Kaplan said that any philanthropy, charity, or other good acts by the defendant would not be used for defining his character, or his innocence or guilt.

Federal prosecutors

As far as what federal prosecutors can discuss at trial, the judge permitted them to bring up the matter of an alleged attempt to bribe an official of the Chinese government.

This was for releasing the native token of the FTX exchange called FTT and frozen funds. According to Judge Kaplan, the evidence associated with the bribery matter is admissible.

This is due to the fact that it highlights how an ‘illegal relationship’ was developed between Bankman-Fried and Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research.

One of the several former executives who have pled guilty, Ellison and Bankman-Fried are former lovers and the former is expected to testify at the upcoming trial.

Bankman-Fried had his bail revoked because he revealed snippets of her personal diary to a reporter, which sparked concerns about witness tampering.

More details

The judge also gave the green light to federal prosecutors to discuss the policy of automatic deletion at FTX, which involved erasing business communications regularly.

It is considered an attempt to suppress evidence of criminal activities.

Judge Kaplan also favored the prosecutors in precluding evidence related to the defendant’s health, pretrial detention, age, family background, and other factors, as they are not relevant to his alleged criminal activities.

One area where the judge did not agree with federal prosecutors was related to the use of drugs by witnesses for recreational purposes.

He stated that the topic can be discussed at trial, but did add that Bankman-Fried’s lawyers inform the court and the prosecutors before bringing up the matter.