US Judge Rejects Bankman-Fried's Bail Modification Request

A federal judge rejected a joint request to modify Sam Bankman-Fried's bail conditions to allow him to use certain messaging tools.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, of the Southern District of New York, said the motion is "denied without prejudice" until a hearing on Thursday. An attorney for Bankman-Fried requested on Monday that he be allowed to use certain unencrypted messaging applications, as well as WhatsApp with the use of monitoring software.

The attorney, Mark Cohen, said prosecutors had agreed to the proposed modifications, which would have allowed Bankman-Fried to use apps like FaceTime, Zoom, email and others. He would also be allowed to use WhatsApp, but those conversations would be monitored with logging software.

He would not be allowed to use Signal or similar apps, under the proposed modifications.

Cohen said that if the judge signed off, the defense would "withdraw its request to remove the asset transfer condition" and ask for Thursday's hearing to be canceled.

Judge Kaplan said oral arguments will continue. The hearing is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 9, 2023.

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 2023, 16:00 UTC): Adds additional detail.