On August 11, a Judge ruled that disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) be remanded in the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) after he was found guilty of violating his bail conditions. However, just a week after, SBF is asking to be released under special circumstances.
SBF Asking For Weekday Bail
In a letter dated August 18, sent to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, SBF’s lawyers ask that SBF be released on weekdays to enable them to prepare for his defense adequately. This comes after the lawyers rejected the prosecutors’ initial plan on how SBF would prepare for his trial, which begins on October 2.
Federal Prosecutors reportedly gave SBF two days a week without adequate tools to handle the voluminosity of his case files. SBF’s lawyers have tagged this prep time as “entirely inadequate” and in violation of his sixth amendment rights.
According to them:
This is entirely inadequate and Mr. Bankman-Fried will not be able to meaningfully participate in his defense, as is his right under the Sixth Amendment.
SBF’s team, led by Christian Everdell, argues that their client needs to be released in order to properly review the evidence that federal prosecutors have brought against him. They stated that he lacked the time and resources to do this from his jail cell.
To highlight the magnitude of documents SBF must review, Everdell stated that Prosecutors had sent “three-quarters of a million pages of Slack communication” last week. He noted the uphill task of reviewing such documents under the current conditions.
If granted, SBF will be able to meet his lawyers at the federal courthouse on weekdays and use an internet-enabled laptop to review his case files and work on his defense. His lawyers believe this will expedite the process and ensure they are adequately prepared for his fraud trial.
Prosecutors Wary Of Sam Bankman-Fried
Considering the circumstances that led to Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail being revoked, prosecutors may be wary of SBF having so much leeway as he prepares for his defense. SBF reportedly had access to the internet while he was on bail at his parents’ house, and Judge Kaplan had found him guilty of violating his bail conditions when it was discovered that SBF had reached out to certain witnesses using a virtual private network (VPN).
Prosecutors, however, argue that they have provided “extraordinary accommodations” to enable him to review the volume of evidence against him. They have also made provisions for SBF to review the electronic evidence against him as these documents have been loaded onto a hard drive which SBF can use on the computers at the MDC.
SBF currently faces seven fraud-related charges, ranging from wire fraud on FTX customers to conspiracy to commit money laundering. However, despite the magnitude of evidence against SBF, he has maintained that he is not guilty of the charges leveled against him.