The Preparation Of The October Trial Against FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Intensifies!

New motion in the trial case against Sam Bankman-Fried
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The lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), founder of FTX, have formally submitted a motion seeking his “interim release” or, at a minimum, a provision allowing him to confer with his defense team five days a week. The motion refers to the Sixth Amendment and SBF‘s constitutional right to participate in preparing his defense and his right to receive effective assistance of counsel. They also objected to the Government’s production of an additional 4 million pages of discovery.

The letter, penned by defense attorneys Mark S. Cohen and Christian Everdell, states, “The optimal solution to address these concerns and ensure Mr. Bankman-Fried’s constitutional rights would be a temporary release. However, as a secondary measure, we earnestly urge the Court to revisit its prior decision and mandate the Marshals to escort Mr. Bankman-Fried to the designated rooms at 500 Pearl Street on a daily basis.” Under the supervision of his defense team, SBF would be able to work with an internet-connected computer to peruse, modify, and collaboratively work on documents.

Earlier this month, SBF‘s bail was rescinded following a determination by Judge Lewis Kaplan, presiding over the case, that the defendant had engaged in witness tampering on multiple occasions, thereby breaching his bail terms. The defense immediately signaled their intention to appeal this decision. During the same session, Judge Kaplan decreed SBF‘s detention.

Although SBF has been granted laptop access at the federal courthouse in Manhattan, it is restricted to a mere twelve hours weekly, starkly contrasting the extensive hours he dedicated pre-incarceration. The device’s limited battery life and subpar internet connectivity further exacerbate the situation. His confinement in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) deprives him of any online access or laptop usage.

The defense also expressed concerns regarding the Department of Justice’s continuous discovery submissions, highlighting the recent addition of over 4 million document pages. They petition the court to exclude any discovery documents submitted post-July 1, citing the impracticality of reviewing such vast volumes before the trial. The presiding judge has directed the prosecution to address the concerns raised in the letter and an earlier communication detailing one of SBF’s proposed defenses.

A virtual hearing is slated for Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET to discuss these discovery matters. SBF faces seven charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial on Oct. 2, 2023.

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