Sam Bankman-Fried denied pre-trial release by SDNY judge: ‘The premise is incorrect’

Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday denied a request from attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried to release their client before his upcoming trial to allow him to more thoroughly prepare for the proceedings.

Among the arguments made by Kaplan, a judge in New York’s Southern District, in a three-page memo pertaining to United States v. Sam Bankman-Fried is that the FTX founder, who was indicted in December, already has had 7.5 months—and “extensive access”—to review materials electronically.

It’s likely the defendant would have had even longer to prepare outside of a corrections facility were his bail not revoked a month ago following allegations of witness tampering, which included leaking the diary of Caroline Ellison—the onetime CEO of FTX sister firm Alameda Research and SBF’s onetime girlfriend—to the New York Times.

Bankman-Fried, who’s facing at least eight charges that include wire fraud, lender fraud, and securities fraud, ended up trading his parents’ home in Palo Alto for the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The latter, his attorneys have argued, lacks adequate internet access.

Additionally, Kaplan writes in the document released on Tuesday, “…the premise of the defendant’s position here is that he personally is entitled to review and consider every single piece of the discovery in this case, to generate unspecified work product in respect thereof, and so on. But the premise is incorrect. Defendant is represented by a substantial team of extremely able retained lawyers.”

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, according to the same document, also intend to call to the stand at least seven expert witnesses.

Kaplan closed his remarks by writing that the immediate ruling to deny Bankman-Fried’s pre-trial release “does not foreclose a further application on a more factually grounded and persuasive showing.”

The trial is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Jury selection is underway.

FTX was once valued at $32 billion.

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