A U.S. district judge has once again shot down Sam Bankman-Fried’s request to be temporarily released from prison before his upcoming trial.
On Monday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers submitted a formal request for the former FTX CEO to be released on October 2, the day before his trial is scheduled to begin.-->
The lawyers argued that Bankman-Fried’s temporary release for the duration of the trial is necessary for the preparation of his defense, citing the highly technical nature of the trial, the prosecution’s list of more than 50 witnesses, and the need to comb through thousands of pages of witness material and more than 1,300 exhibits.
On Thursday, however, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan denied the request “for reasons stated on the record this date.”
Bankman-Fried was out on a $250 million bail and staying at his parent’s house in Palo Alto, California following his arrest in December. But federal prosecutors successfully had his bail revoked in August based on allegations that he engaged in witness tampering.
Later that month, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys first requested his pretrial release, arguing that his stay at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) prison reduces his access to discovery in the case “from seven days a week/80-100 hours a week to (at most) two days a week/six hours a day.”
Kaplan first denied the request for pre-trial release on September 12th, ruling that Bankman-Fried had “not made any detailed showing as to specific materials that he claims he has been unable to access personally and the reasons why any such personal inability actually would impede his defense.”
The judge also noted that Bankman-Fried hadn’t requested to postpone the trial despite his offer to consider doing so.
The FTX founder has been charged with defrauding investors and mishandling billions of dollars worth of customer funds related to the exchange’s collapse last year. If convicted, he faces decades behind bars.