DOJ accuses Bankman-Fried of leaking Ellison’s diary to “discredit her”

DOJ accuses Bankman-Fried of leaking Ellison’s diary to “discredit her”

By Benson Toti - min read
  • The DOJ has filed a court complaint accusing former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried of leaking Caroline Ellison’s diary.
  • Bankman-Fried is alleged to have met a New York Times reporter and handed out the information.
  • The government sees this as an attempt by SBF to discredit Ellison who is a key witness.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) says Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, leaked the contents of a private diary belonging to Caroline Ellison to a New York Times reporter. 

DOJ says Bankman-Fried wanted to “discredit” Ellison

Ellison is a former colleague of Bankman-Fried, and headed Alameda Research, a sister company of the collapsed crypto exchange. 

She was also charged for her role in the implosion that befell the companies. However, Ellison agreed to cooperate with the prosecution and is seen as a key witness in the DOJ’s case against the former FTX chief.

The government’s complaint against SBF relates to an article in the NYT that feature information leaked from Ellison’s private diary. In its filing, the DOJ says that the former FTX CEO is behind the leak and that his action “sought to publicly discredit a government witness.”

The defendant’s purpose in sharing these materials is plain.  Ellison has pleaded guilty to a cooperation agreement and is expected to testify at trial that she agreed with the defendant to defraud FTX’s customers and investors, and Alameda’s lenders.  By selectively sharing certain private documents with the New York Times, the defendant is attempting to discredit a witness, cast Ellison in a poor light, and advance his defense through the press and outside the constraints of the courtroom and rules of evidence: that Ellison was a jilted lover who perpetrated these crimes alone,” reads part of the DOJ’s complaint.

Additionally, the government sees this as an extrajudicial move by the defendant, and which could interfere not only with the jury but also with witnesses lined up to testify against him. It’s not the first complaint the DOJ has filed against Bankman-Fried. 

The effect, if not the intent, of the defendant’s conduct is not only to harass Ellison, but also to deter other potential trial witnesses from testifying,” the DOJ wrote.

In January, the prosecution said he had tried to influence an FTX.US official.The government has therefore requested the court to issue orders limiting extrajudicial statements that could interfere with the jury and witnesses.

SBF, once lauded as a crypto prodigy and a darling around the Capitol, is under house arrest and faces a long prison sentence if convicted. His trial is set to begin in October.