SBF lawyers continue to argue jail conditions ‘not workable’ hindering court preparation

cyptouser9 months agoCryptocurrencies News249

SBF lawyers continue to argue jail conditions ‘not workable’ hindering court preparation

Lawyers for Samuel Bankman-Fried told a judge on Monday, Sept. 5, that the accused FTX founder is still having issues reviewing evidence ahead of his fraud trial next month.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, defense attorneys said Bankman-Fried was prematurely removed from visiting rooms at the Manhattan jail where he can access laptops loaded with documents. They said he was denied access to the laptops for substantial periods on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Defense lawyers said prosecutors had assured Kaplan that Bankman-Fried would be allowed to review documents from 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays. However, they said he was only permitted to access the laptop from 9 am to 2:30 pm on Friday, Sept. 1, since arriving at the Metropolitan Detention Center on Aug. 31. They are now concerned he will continue to only have access during these times as he has to “return for the count” in his cell before 3 pm.

“Losing 4 hours per day (20 hours per week) is not what the Government promised and is not workable,” Bankman’s lawyers wrote. They said he still cannot access the “full discovery” in the case.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan defended the accommodations made for Bankman-Fried thus far in their own letter. They said he had been provided with an internet-disabled laptop to review documents, access to two external hard drives in his cell, and the ability to exchange messages with lawyers through a jail e-mail system.

Prosecutors said the jail laptop was available to Bankman-Fried in the jail’s visiting room for over eight hours on Thursday and more than nine hours on Friday before his access was curtailed over the weekend. They said the interruption on Saturday was due to Bankman-Fried’s attendance at weekly Jewish services.

“The Government has bent over backward to accommodate” the discovery needs of Bankman-Fried, prosecutors wrote. They say any limits on his access stem from restrictions at the jail and “are not due to any lack of effort” by the government.

Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to charges that he illegally diverted massive investor funds from his cryptocurrency exchange FTX to buy real estate, donate money to politicians, and finance risky trades at Alameda Research, his cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm.

He is scheduled to go on trial in early October. Bankman-Fried was brought to the U.S. earlier this month after being extradited from the Bahamas, where FTX is based.


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