US DoJ Charges SBF of Leaking Caroline Ellison’s Private Documents

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Key takeaways:

  • The US DoJ charged SBF with disclosing Caroline Ellison’s documents.
  • US Attorney said that although the article didn’t say who gave the NYT the documents, it “is apparent” that SBF supplied them.

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the creator of FTX, was charged by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) with disclosing Caroline Ellison’s personal documents. Caroline Ellison was a former business partner and love interest of SBF.

The DoJ charged Bankman-Fried with trying to thwart a fair trial by publicly smearing Ellison, who turned out to be a government witness in SBF’s case in late 2022, in a new complaint submitted on July 20.

SBF shared her private writings with a reporter to have those words appear in a story published by The New York Times on July 20, according to US Attorney Damian Williams, who made this claim in the complaint. By doing this, SBF intended to publicly disparage a government witness.

Ellison wrote in her diary about being overburdened with her work at Alameda Research and other things, like the hurt from her breakup with SBF and her professional insecurities.

Williams said that although the article didn’t say who gave the NYT the documents, it “is apparent” that SBF supplied them. He stated:

“When the government learned this week that this article was forthcoming, defense counsel confirmed that the defendant had met with one of the article’s authors in person and had shared documents with him that were not part of the government’s discovery material.”

The lawyer continued by claiming that, based on the article’s extracts, the documents did not appear to be part of the case’s discovery materials; instead, they most likely originated from the defendant’s “personal Google Drive account.”

Williams continued by stating that it is against US federal standards of civil procedure for solicitors and their representatives to divulge private information that can taint a fair trial.

In order to comply with Local Rule 23.1, which forbids “extrajudicial statements by parties and witnesses” that are likely to obstruct the right to a fair trial by an unbiased jury, the government asks the court to issue an order. Williams continued:

“Having the story appear in a reputable newspaper with a worldwide readership without identifying the defendant as the source lends a misleading patina of legitimacy to what would otherwise be naked advocacy, compounding the risk of tainting prospective jurors.”

On July 21, FTX sued its own founder, SBF, and several former officials to recoup over $1 billion in allegedly misappropriated funds made prior to FTX’s bankruptcy.

SBF, Caroline Ellison, Zixiao “Gary” Wang, and Nishad Singh are the targets of the case, which claims that they fostered an atmosphere in which a select group of employees had virtually unrestrained control over fiat and cryptocurrency assets, enabling them to misappropriate the money at pleasure.

The defendants were charged with perpetrating one of the biggest financial frauds in history in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Delaware bankruptcy court.

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