(Bloomberg) -- FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried asked to meet John J. Ray, the executive who replaced him as the crypto empire descended into bankruptcy, weeks after being charged with orchestrating fraud at the company, newly released emails show.
“I know things haven’t gotten off on the right foot but I really do want to be helpful — whether on the funds or on anything else,” Bankman-Fried wrote to Ray on Jan. 2.
Federal prosecutors filed the emails in court on Monday as they doubled down on their request for a judge to impose new bail conditions banning Bankman-Fried’s use of encrypted messaging apps. The government also wants to restrict the 30-year-old from contacting former and current FTX employees, excluding his father.
Bankman-Fried has previously said he has contacted Ray, whose team is overseeing a mammoth asset recovery task after FTX’s collapse in early November.
In another email sent to Ray on Dec. 30, Bankman-Fried included a link to a media article about assets being drained from Alameda Research - the hedge fund Bankman-Fried founded.
“If this is your team moving the assets to custody, great!” Bankman-Fried wrote, according to the email filed in court. “If not, I worry it might be a hacker — possibly the same one as a month and a half ago.”
Bankman-Fried said he couldn’t access the funds and asked Ray to consider moving the funds “to custody ASAP so that they can’t be syphoned.”
“I would be happy to talk about the ways you likely are able to access them if helpful,” he wrote. Ray, who oversaw the liquidation of Enron, has previously stated that the accused criminal hasn’t told him anything he doesn’t already know.
Prosecutors revealed last Friday that Bankman-Fried had used encrypted messaging platform, Signal, to contact FTX US’s general counsel, referred to as witness 1, on Jan. 15. It was viewed as an attempt to sway the witness’s potential testimony, according to the government.
“I would really love to reconnect and see if there’s a way for us to have a constructive relationship, use each other as resources when possible or at least vet things with each other,” Bankman-Fried wrote to the witness, according to a copy of the message also filed in court.
Mark S. Cohen, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, said the message was an “innocuous attempt” to offer assistance in FTX’s bankruptcy process. In a separate filing on Saturday, Cohen proposed a bail condition that would prevent Bankman-Fried from contacting key witnesses, including FTX co-founder Gary Wang, but allow him to talk to his father and therapist.
Bankman-Fried has been living at his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California, after being released from custody in December on a $250 million bail package. He is accused of committing a yearslong fraud at FTX and allowing customer funds to be used for trading at hedge fund arm Alameda Research and on personal expenses. He has pleaded not guilty to fraud and campaign finance law violations.
The case is US v. Bankman-Fried, 22-cr-673, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
(Updates with more detail from court filing)
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