FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of FTX, is seeking a temporary release from jail to collaborate with his attorneys on his defense at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
His lawyers sent a letter to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, explaining that reviewing the extensive case documents has been challenging while he’s detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team emphasizes the importance of his direct involvement and access to an internet-enabled laptop during the review process, especially given his upcoming fraud trial in October.
Prosecutors expressed concerns about Bankman-Fried’s compliance with defense-related requirements, including his reliance on advice for his actions.
They warned that without prompt disclosure of the advice and its source, he might not be allowed to use such a defense in trial.
Prosecutors offered to provide documents on hard drives for use at MDC, as a laptop solution was not feasible due to concerns.
Initially, transferring Bankman-Fried to an upstate facility with internet access was considered, but prison officials opposed the idea.
The Metropolitan Detention Center is known for its harsh conditions and negative reputation among inmates.
Bankman-Fried was jailed due to unauthorized internet use and alleged witness tampering.
Judge Kaplan found probable cause to believe he attempted to tamper with witnesses and cited his unauthorized internet use while under bail in California.
Bankman-Fried is also facing new DOJ allegations, including embezzlement of customer funds.
An indictment accuses him of misappropriating customer deposits from FTX to make political campaign contributions before the 2022 US midterm elections.
Despite FTX’s financial issues, he allegedly used embezzled money for personal investments, acquisitions, and campaign donations.
Sam Bankman-Fried wants to be released from jail five days each week so he can work on his defense at the federal prosecutor's office https://t.co/rjTKYyWx4H
— Bloomberg (@business) August 18, 2023
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