A gag order has been obtained against former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, following accusations of fair trial interference. On July 20, the U.S. government accused Bankman-Fried of attempting to interfere with a fair trial by publicly discrediting former business partner and witness Caroline Ellison in an interview with the New York Times.
In a July 22 letter to United States District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Bankman-Fried lawyers, Cohen and Gresser LLP, denied accusations made by the U.S. government and agreed to a gag order.
A gag order is a legal restriction issued by a court to prevent the public disclosure of information or comments to unauthorized third parties. With this order, Bankman-Fried can no longer publicly discredit a government witness by sharing confidential information that may influence the jury pool.
Notably, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have also requested that the same gag order be applied to all parties and witnesses involved in the criminal trial. They argue that their client has been subject to a “toxic media environment” since the collapse of the exchange, and such protection is necessary.
Similarly, the legal team emphasizes that the U.S. government has promoted several articles that sought to harm Bankman-Fried’s reputation, raising concerns about a potential double standard.
The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried, who pleaded not guilty to a series of fraud charges allegedly leading to the bankruptcy of FTX, is scheduled to begin on October 3rd.