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United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
December 22, 2022, Decided; December 22, 2022, Filed
No. 22-cr-673 (RA)
RONNIE ABRAMS, United States District Judge:
On December 19, 2022, Defendants Ellison and Wang waived indictment, consented to the filing of a Superseding Information, and pleaded guilty to each of the counts with which they were charged. At the time their pleas were entered, the Court granted the government's application that the filings and transcripts of the plea allocutions would be temporarily sealed, and docketing delayed until such time as Defendant Bankman-Fried was extradited to this district [*2] from the Bahamas, finding that premature exposure of cooperation could hinder ongoing law enforcement efforts. The government now requests that the plea agreements include certain limited redactions upon unsealing. Defendant Ellison additionally requests the redaction of health-related information from the transcript of her plea allocution. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the instant applications.
Although there is a qualified right of public access to Court documents, the Second Circuit has recognized "sufficient reasons" for redactions in "those occasions where an ongoing government investigation may be jeopardized." United States v. Cojab, 996 F.2d 1404, 1408 (2d Cir. 1993). In United States v. Haller, for instance, the Circuit affirmed a district court's decision to redact the portion of a plea agreement, reasoning that doing so for the "protection of an ongoing criminal investigation" was a "sufficient basis to justify redaction." 837 F.2d 84, 88-89 (2d Cir. 1988). Similarly, courts in this district have recognized that "medical" and "health-related" information also merits the "greatest protection" and may be subject to being filed under seal. United States v. Martoma, No. 12-cr-973, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182959, 2014 WL 164181, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2014). The Second Circuit has further reasoned that even docketing the applications to seal materials [*3] could be prejudicial, and that in such cases the applications themselves could be sealed. See United States v. Alcantara, 396 F.3d 189, 200 n.8 (2d Cir. 2005).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 230761 *
UNITED STATES, v. SAMUEL BANKMAN-FRIED, CAROLINE ELLISON, and GARY WANG, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Stay granted by, Motion granted by United States v. Bankman-Fried, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15565, 2023 WL 1108471 (S.D.N.Y., Jan. 30, 2023)
Later proceeding at United States v. Bankman-Fried, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17303 (S.D.N.Y., Feb. 1, 2023)
redactions, plea agreement, seal, allocution, law enforcement, health-related, portions, reasons, unseal, ongoing criminal investigation, determines, docketing, requests, ongoing