FTX Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, Denied Pretrial Release Ahead of Fraud Trial
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has been denied his bid for pretrial release by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan. Bankman-Fried is facing fraud charges in relation to the collapse of FTX and is scheduled to stand trial on October 3rd. His lawyers argued that the conditions of his confinement at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center have hindered his ability to adequately review the evidence against him and assist in building his defense case. However, Judge Kaplan ruled that Bankman-Fried had not specified which pieces of evidence he had been unable to access and had failed to request a trial delay, despite the judge's offer to consider such a request.
This decision comes after Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried's bail on August 11th, citing his alleged tampering with witnesses, including sharing the personal writings of his former romantic partner and colleague, Caroline Ellison, with a New York Times reporter. Ellison, the former CEO of Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research hedge fund, has already pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is expected to testify against him at trial.
Bankman-Fried has insisted that he shared the documents to protect his reputation rather than to intimidate Ellison. He has also separately appealed Kaplan's detention order, with a three-judge panel from the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals set to hear arguments in that case on September 19th.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Bankman-Fried of stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to cover losses at Alameda, purchase real estate, and make political donations in an effort to increase his influence in Washington. While Bankman-Fried has acknowledged inadequate risk management at FTX, he has vehemently denied stealing any funds.
Before the collapse of FTX, Bankman-Fried was considered one of the most influential figures in the digital assets sector, earning the nickname "King of Crypto" and gracing the covers of magazines. However, as his trial approaches, the once-celebrated entrepreneur finds himself in a precarious legal battle to clear his name and salvage his reputation.
themes: Washington New York (state)