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Former crpyto king Bankman-Fried headed back to jail

Former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried is headed back to a New York jail after a judge found he had sought to tamper with the key witness in his case

Disgraced former crptocurrency tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried is back in jail and could be facing new charges.

A ruling from Judge Lewis Kaplan on Friday called for Bankman-Fried to be returned to detention in New York as he awaits trial on multiple financial fraud charges.

This after it was found that Bankman-Fried had been among the sources for a New York Times article about Caroline Ellison, Bankman's former girlfriend and the chief executive of Alameda Research, the bankrupted investment company at the heart of Bankman-Fried's multi-billion dollar fraud case.

Ellison is set to be a key witness in Bankman-Fried's criminal trial, which is currently set for October.

Prosecutors had sought to have Bankman-Fried returned to jail alleging his participation in the story amounted to witness tampering and an attempt to both discredit Ellison's testimony and influence potential jurors who might read the article.

"The defendant’s purpose in sharing these materials is plain," the prosecution wrote.

"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."

Bankman-Fried's lawyers had countered that the FTX and Alameda Research founder had done nothing wrong, and that he had a right to defend himself in the press by sharing documents that were not part of the discovery process in the case.

On Friday, Judge Kaplan agreed with the government's argument and ordered Bankman-Fried's release on bail to be revoked, sending him at least temporarily to a jail in Brooklyn.

Kaplan also suggested that Bankman-Fried could also now potentially face additional charges.

"The Court has found, for reasons stated on the record in open court, that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has committed the federal crime of attempted witness tampering," Kaplan said in his order.

The rulings come just weeks before Bankman-Fried is slated to stand trial for his role behind the November 2022 collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange and the subsequent bankruptcy of Alameda Research, which had invested heavily through FTX.

That crash lead to billions of dollars in cryptocurrency being wiped out and immediately created speculation of foul play.

It was then alleged that Bankman-Fried had been shifting customer deposits from the exchange through Alameda Research, and in the process siphoning off billions for himself and his inner-circle.

Ellison, who has already taken a plea deal, stands to be the star witness in the case due to the key role she would have played in the alleged scheme.