A federal judge has been requested by US prosecutors to issue an order that would prevent Sam Bankman-Fried and other parties involved from making statements that could prevent a fair trial.
The former CEO of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has his trial scheduled in October.
This move from US prosecutors comes after an article was published by the New York Times, which revealed the personal diary that Caroline Ellison had maintained on Google Docs.
Ellison was the former chief executive of Alameda Research, the trading company affiliated with FTX, and is one of the key witnesses in the upcoming trial of FTX’s co-founder.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a filing on Thursday in which it asserted that Bankman-Fried was the one behind the leaked documents, as he and Ellison had had a romantic relationship.
According to the prosecutors, lawyers for SBF had confirmed that he had met with one of the authors of the article and had shared additional documents that had not been disclosed to the government previously.
Bankman-Fried has been charged with money laundering, wire fraud, and campaign finance, amongst others, and for the role he played in the downfall of Alameda Research and FTX last November.
The New York Times published a document dated February 2022 in which Caroline Ellison had stated that her job left her feeling overwhelmed and unhappy and she couldn’t wait to get away from all of it.
In another document from April 2022, the former CEO was doubtful of her own abilities and had even highlighted the areas where she struggled the most, including ‘decisiveness’ and ‘leadership’.
In fact, she went on to admit that she did not feel qualified and suited to lead Alameda Research.
US Attorney Damian Williams stated that the actions of the defendants were related to the Civil Procedure’s Rule 23.1.
The said rule dictates that non-public information regarding a case cannot be revealed by lawyers or their agents is there is a possibility that sharing it can result in prejudice and prevent a fair trial.
Williams stated that Rule 23.1 was only applicable to lawyers and their agents, so court intervention was needed for restricting the witnesses and the parties.
He went on to say that it was necessary to prevent Bankman-Fried from making extrajudicial statements because he was trying to discredit a key witness.
The US prosecutor said that he had shared the documents with the New York Times to shift the blame towards Ellison.
He was trying to use the media for making his defense because he wanted to cast Ellison as a jilted lover who had conducted all the criminal activities on her own.
Ellison had opted to plead guilty to fraud not long after the downfall of FTX and is now cooperating with prosecutors.
She is one of the key witnesses who are scheduled to testify in the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried in October.