During a court hearing held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, the Court ruled that the former CEO of now-bankrupt crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried aka SBF will remain in jail throughout his trial.
Sam Bankman-Fried To Remain In Jail Throughout His Trial
At the brief court hearing on Thursday at the Manhattan federal court, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requested that the court should temporarily release their client so he could be able to prepare his defense against the charges raised against him. However, the judge overseeing the case Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has denied the request as he believes the Defendant is a flight risk.
“The closer we get to trial, the more I’m wondering about that. Your client in the event of conviction could be looking at a very long sentence. If things begin to look bleak … maybe the time would come when he would seek to flee.” Judge Kaplan stated in the court hearing in Manhattan federal court.
Bankman-Fried’s lead lawyer Mark Cohen then argued that there was no reason for his client to try and flee. Cohen told Judge Kaplan that his request was made due to him being unable to meaningfully confer with his client Bankman-Fried as long as he is jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
In response, Assistant US Attorney Danielle Kudla told Judge Kaplan that Sam Bankman-Fried already had enough time to prepare for his trial. Kudla pointed out that Bankman-Fried had more than seven months to review his evidence and better prepare for his trial from the comfort of his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California since his freedom was not revoked until July 2023.
Sam Bankman-Fried was extradited to the United States from the Bahamas in December last year and he was placed on house arrest in his parent’s home in Palo Alto, California where he had limited access to electronic devices until he was jailed on August 11, 2023, by Judge Kaplan.
Sam Bankman-Fried was denied a $250 million bond by Judge Kaplan after the judge discovered that Bankman-Fried tried to tamper with and influence potential witnesses testifying against him.
However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan pondered on what Cohen had said and he stated that the court would arrange for Cohen and other lawyers to meet with Bankman-Fried most of the trial days at 7:00 AM at the court to speak with Bankman-Fried hours before the testimony begins.
Bankman-Fried’s trial is set to begin on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, and it is expected to last more than 6 weeks. His lawyers already lost two other bail appeals before now. This marks the third time that the Defendant’s request to be released during his trial will be rejected by the court.
Prosecutors Bring Several Allegations Against FTX Founder
CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to several allegations brought against him following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX back in November 2022.
Prosecutors accused Bankman-Fried of allegedly deceiving customers and investors to enrich himself and other executives while playing a major role in FTX’s multibillion-dollar collapse in November last year.
It was believed that Bankman-Fried stole billions of dollars in FTX customer deposits to resolve Alameda Research debts – a crypto hedge fund governed by him, live lavishly in the Caribbean, and fund political campaigns.
Former Chief Executive Officer of Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research hedge fund Caroline Ellison already pleaded guilty to fraud. She is expected to testify against Bankman-Fried in the upcoming trial.Read More