Since his arrest on fraud charges in December, Bankman-Fried had been under house arrest at his parents’ home in California, The New York Times reported Friday. He is awaiting a trial that is scheduled to begin Oct. 2.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan said Friday that the house arrest had to end after prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of giving documents to the media to intimidate a witness in the case, according to the report. Two U.S. marshals handcuffed Bankman-Fried after the order was read aloud.
“He has gone up to the line over and over again, and I am going to revoke bail,” said Kaplan, per the report. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer said he intended to appeal the ruling.
The court documents mentioned an article in The New York Times that described private writings by Caroline Ellison, who was an executive of one of Bankman-Fried’s companies and dated him, according to the report. Ellison has since pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried sent the documents to the news outlet to cast Ellison in a negative light ahead of his trial, the report said.
Additionally, Bankman-Fried has had several conversations with other journalists, including author Michael Lewis, who is writing a book about FTX that is set for publication during Bankman-Fried’s trial, per the report.
Bankman-Fried has long professed his innocence, but he has also kept a warm relationship with the press, PYMNTS reported Friday. After prosecutors alleged that he “crossed a line” by sharing Ellison’s private writings, Kaplan issued a gag order for Bankman-Fried and asked both sides to address whether jail was necessary.
The FTX founder has been hoping to pin the blame for sister company Alameda Research’s tattered balance sheet on Ellison, who has admitted guilt to all seven of the criminal fraud charges levied against her. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon told Kaplan during a July hearing that the article that included Ellison’s diary represented “an escalation of an ongoing campaign.”