Sam Bankman-Fried, disgraced founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and a Democrat super donor, has had his bail revoked by a judge ahead of his trial on fraud charges, over concerns that the crypto baron has engaged in witness tampering.
“There is probable cause to believe that the defendant has attempted to tamper with witnesses at least twice,” said U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan at a hearing in New York.
The judge said that Bankman-Fried would be allowed to spend time in his lawyers’ office to prepare for his trial in October, but the revocation of his bail means that the accused fraudster will likely spend the rest of his time leading up to the trial behind bars.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (second on left) is led away in handcuffs by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in Nassau, Bahamas, on December 13, 2022. (MARIO DUNCANSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Perhaps the most visible case of a cryptocurrency rise-and-fall, Bankman-Fried was one of the richest men in the space before the spectacular collapse of FTX, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2022 after its liquidity evaporated.
The founder, often known as “SBF,” used his wealth to become a Democrat super-donor, and was the second-largest contributor to Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020. Scarcely 30 years old, the crypto baron had ambitions to displace George Soros as the largest donor to Democrats and Democrat causes.
The collapse of FTX came at the nadir of the cryptocurrency down-cycle that followed the explosion in the price of most leading cryptocurrencies in 2021, which saw some traders become millionaires even from cryptocurrencies that started as a joke, like Dogecoin.
By the time of FTX’s collapse, the price of Bitcoin, the market-leading cryptocurrency, was close to $15,000 per BTC, down from a high of around $65,000 at the peak of the bull run. The leading cryptocurrency has since recovered substantially, currently trading at around $29,000 per BTC.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election. Follow him on Twitter @AllumBokhari.