The founder of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried, is facing troubling conditions in federal jail as he prepares to face trial on charges related to the collapse of FTX in November 2022.
Bankman-Fried’s legal team expressed concerns over his access to necessary medication and dietary requirements during a recent court hearing.
Bankman-Fried, 31, pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges outlined in a new indictment during a hearing at Manhattan federal court.
The charges stem from allegations that he embezzled billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to offset losses at his hedge fund, Alameda Research.
His lawyer, Mark Cohen, revealed in court that Bankman-Fried’s jail conditions are hindering his ability to prepare adequately for the upcoming trial.
Cohen claimed that the Metropolitan Detention Center, where Bankman-Fried is being held, has not provided him with the requested vegan diet, leaving him “subsisting on bread and water.”
Furthermore, the lack of access to the medication Adderall, prescribed to treat his attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and Emsam, for his depression, has compounded his challenges.
The court had previously ordered the jail to provide Bankman-Fried with the necessary medication.
Cohen emphasized that these conditions were impeding his client’s participation in his own defense and overall well-being.
District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who revoked Bankman-Fried’s bail on August 11 due to allegations of witness tampering, will oversee the trial.
The decision to revoke bail came after Judge Kaplan found evidence of Bankman-Fried tampering with witnesses on multiple occasions.
Addressing the situation, United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, who presided over the recent hearing, expressed intent to raise the issue of Bankman-Fried’s medication with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Prisons, which manages the facility.
While the facility claims to provide nutritionally adequate meals, questions remain about the availability of vegan food.
Bankman-Fried’s legal troubles extend beyond the impending trial.
Former associates, including his ex-romantic partner and Alameda Research’s former chief executive, Caroline Ellison, have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him.
The trial is expected to shed light on the intricate details surrounding FTX’s collapse and Bankman-Fried’s alleged involvement.
In response to the concerns raised, the Bureau of Prisons reiterated its commitment to providing appropriate healthcare, medicine, and meals to inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
As the trial date approaches, observers continue to closely monitor the unfolding legal proceedings and Bankman-Fried’s living conditions as he remains in custody.
NEWS: Sam Bankman-Fried says the jail is denying him a vegan diethttps://t.co/tIAYWQU7NF
— Blockworks (@Blockworks_) August 22, 2023
For more visit CryptoNewsBay.com