FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been denied his request to be free during his trial on charges of defrauding cryptocurrency investors. The judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, extended the hours that Bankman-Fried can meet with his lawyers in a federal courthouse but maintained that he should remain in jail. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer argued that being incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn limited their ability to confer effectively. However, the judge expressed concerns about the possibility of Bankman-Fried fleeing if the trial outcome appeared unfavorable. Last month, Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bond after finding evidence of his attempt to influence potential trial witnesses. The trial is set to begin next week and is expected to last up to six weeks.
Despite Bankman-Fried’s lawyer emphasizing his client’s need for better preparation by being free, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan firmly rejected the request for release. The judge raised concerns about the potential risk of Bankman-Fried fleeing, especially in the face of a potentially lengthy sentence if convicted. The decision to keep Bankman-Fried in jail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn also took into account evidence suggesting his attempts to influence trial witnesses, which led to the revocation of his bond last month. Prosecutor claims assert that Bankman-Fried intentionally deceived investors, ultimately contributing to the collapse of his company. The judge acknowledged the challenges of reviewing evidence but stressed that the case was not unique in this regard. To accommodate Bankman-Fried’s concerns, the judge arranged for him to be brought to the courthouse earlier to work with his lawyers before the start of trial days, which are anticipated to last for up to six weeks.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has rejected FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s request to be released during his upcoming trial on charges of defrauding cryptocurrency investors. Despite the defense arguing for improved preparation, the judge expressed concerns about the risk of Bankman-Fried fleeing if he were released. In addition to this, the judge cited evidence of the defendant’s attempts to influence trial witnesses as a factor in the decision to keep him in jail. The trial is expected to last for up to six weeks, with Bankman-Fried having to prepare for it while incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. To accommodate his concerns, the judge ordered Bankman-Fried to be brought to the courthouse earlier to confer with his lawyers ahead of the trial days.