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FTX founder Bankman-Fried ‘on bread and water’ in jail, lawyers claim Sixth Amendment violation

News
FTX founder Bankman-Fried ‘on bread and water’ in jail, lawyers claim Sixth Amendment violation

Sam Bankman-Fried, the 31-year-old founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, pleaded not guilty to a fresh indictment involving fraud and conspiracy.

His lawyer voiced concerns about Bankman-Fried’s treatment in jail during his first appearance in Manhattan federal court after being detained by a U.S. judge earlier this month.

Allegedly inhuman conditions

According to CoinDesk, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. He is currently being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, a facility his public defenders often speak up about having allegedly “inhumane” conditions.

Among other complaints, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, claimed that his client had been denied access to his medication, Adderall, essential for managing his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Cohen further added that jail authorities have declined to provide the requested vegan diet for Bankman-Fried, instead giving him only bread and water.

Bankman-Fried, held in custody since Aug. 11 following U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision to revoke his bail over alleged witness tampering, has his legal team petitioning Kaplan for permission to be released five days a week for evidence review at the Manhattan courthouse.

The defense argues that without this allowance, he won’t have sufficient time to adequately prepare for his upcoming trial scheduled for Oct. 2. Currently, Bankman-Fried is permitted to convene with his attorneys in the courthouse every Tuesday, equipped with an internet-enabled laptop, for approximately six and a half hours.

An abrupt downfall

Dubbed “SBF,” Bankman-Fried had previously orchestrated deals to salvage struggling cryptocurrency ventures, but his own domain crumbled within a matter of days in November 2022.

Prior to the collapse triggered by a solvency crisis at FTX, Bankman-Fried had ascended to the ranks of cryptocurrency executives, amassing immense wealth. However, the abrupt downfall culminated in the company’s unexpected bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried’s subsequent departure as CEO.

SBF went on to acknowledge risk management failures at the exchange but continues to deny stealing user funds.