- SBF lawyers state that the defense has already begun researching and contacting possible experts
- Judge Kaplan has temporarily banned SBF from using VPN until his bail terms are settled.
Former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried’s Attorneys, agreed to pay for a technical professional to assist the Judge overseeing his fraud case in navigating modern encryption technology.
On February 21, SBF lawyers Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen letter sent a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan noting that the “defense has already begun researching and contacting possible experts and anticipates being able to propose one or more potential candidates to the court by the end of the week.”
Last week, the U.S. prosecutors raised concerns about SBF’s use of a Virtual Private Network-VPN, to access the internet while on bail. Earlier this month, prosecutors suggested a ban on all electronic devices as well as restricting the crypto mogul’s internet access after he turned to a VPN.
Further, concerns about using an encrypted internet provider revolved around the FTX founder’s communication with other FTX insiders and witnesses. Prosecutors have alleged that VPN use “raised several potential concerns” regarding the potential access of crypto platforms that have blocked United States users.
SBF’s lawyers have argued that the former CEO used VPN only twice to watch the NFL playoffs on January 29 and the Super Bowl on February 12. “On January 29, 2023, he watched the AFC and NFC Championship games, and on February 12, he watched the Super Bowl. This use of a VPN does not implicate any of the concerns raised by the Government in its letter’, the lawyers’ statement reads.
Judge Kaplan has temporarily banned SBF from using VPN or any encrypted messaging apps until his bail terms are settled after his lawyers claimed he only used one to watch the Super Bowl. The use of a VPN, Kaplan ruled, “presents many of the same challenges as other internet activities.”
In December, the FTX founder was charged with eight counts of fraud and conspiracy tied to “misappropriating” customer funds at FTX, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2022.
Last month, SBF pleaded not guilty to federal charges in New York. In another major development, a judge ruled on February 13 that civil cases SBF faces from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission(CFTC) will wait until the conclusion of the criminal case.