FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried Denied Latest Release Request As Trial Looms

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), former CEO of the now-defunct FTX exchange, will attend his trial from behind bars after the latest court decision on Thursday.

Why Sam-Bankman Fried Will Remain In Jail Until Trial

According to various reports, on September 28, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied a request from SBF’s lawyers asking for the FTX co-founder to be temporarily released to prepare for his trial.

Judge Kaplan, the judge in charge of Bankman-Fried’s criminal case, reportedly said that the defendant could be a “flight risk” if the trial proceeds unfavorably, especially considering his young age and potential prison sentence.

Sam Bankman-Fried faces a statutory maximum of 110 years of jail time, having made a not-guilty plea to seven counts of fraud-related offenses. The former CEO’s trial is set to begin on October 3, barring any unexpected postponement.

The defense attorneys asked again for SBF’s temporary release earlier this week, insisting that preparing for the next day’s witnesses and testimony would be challenging if their client had to return to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) at the end of each court day.

Ultimately, the lawyers argued that the former CEO’s input is crucial due to the “highly technical and complex” nature of the case.

While this argument didn’t sway the District Judge, he reportedly said that Sam Bankman-Fried would get the opportunity to arrive at court as early as 7 a.m. on most trial days to meet with his legal team hours before testimony commences.

It is worth noting that, before this latest rejection, the defense lawyers had already lost two appeals seeking Bankman-Fried’s freedom since Judge Kaplan revoked his bail in early August.

SBF Gets A Positive Response

On a lighter note, Sam Bankman-Fried seems to have limited worry about his wardrobe, as Judge Lewis Kaplan granted a request to allow the FTX cofounder to appear in business attire on trial days. A court order filed on Wednesday, September 27, shows that the United States Marshals Services and the Metropolitan Detention Center would be responsible for SBF’s clothing during the trial period.

Authorities will make arrangements for “accepting and maintaining” three full suits, four dress shirts, three ties, one belt, four pairs of socks, two pairs of shoes, and “appropriate underwear.” This makes an interesting wardrobe choice, considering that Bankman-Fried was famous for wearing a T-shirt or other casual apparel during his time as FTX boss.

In less than a week from now, Sam Bankman-Fried will face seven fraud-related counts during his time at FTX and Alameda Research. Regardless of this trial’s outcome, SBF will stand up against five additional counts in a separate trial for March 2024.

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