Crypto Tycoon Bankman-Fried Seeks Release From Jail Over Trial Prep and Laptop Complaints

Crypto Tycoon Bankman-Fried Seeks Release From Jail Over Trial Prep and Laptop Complaints

Attorneys for fallen cryptocurrency tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried are requesting his temporary release from a Brooklyn jail, arguing that limited access to trial evidence and computers is impeding his ability to prepare his defense.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Urge Temporary Release Amid Trial Challenges

In a letter to federal judge Lewis Kaplan filed Friday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell claimed the FTX founder is unable to adequately review discovery materials on the provided laptop and internet connection at the Metropolitan Detention Center. “Mr. Bankman-Fried was only able to load one document from the database to review,” the letter states. The attorneys further wrote:

Effectively, Mr. Bankman-Fried had no access to the internet for the entire 5-hour period.

The defense team also asserted Bankman-Fried’s trial preparation time in the jail is limited, with the 30-year-old often brought to and from the visitor room late. Bankman-Fried was arrested in December and charged with orchestrating a multi-billion fraud at FTX and commingling customer assets. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors have opposed any release for Bankman-Fried before his October trial. The government believes Bankman-Fried can access discovery for up to 11 hours on weekdays and has unlimited access to hard drives of evidence.

But Bankman-Fried’s lawyers counter that the lack of web access prevents comprehensive document review. “We therefore respectfully reiterate our request that the court order Mr. Bankman-Fried’s temporary release under 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i),” they wrote to judge Kaplan. The attorneys argue that his constitutional Sixth Amendment rights are currently being infringed upon.

The tussle over Bankman-Fried’s pretrial access to evidence comes amid heightened attention to the conditions and rights of detainees preparing complex white-collar criminal cases. Legal experts say judges tend to be cautious in granting temporary release, but complaints of inadequate access raise constitutional issues courts often take seriously.

What do you think about the lawyers’ letter to the court about Bankman-Fried’s alleged issues? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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