Sam Bankman-Fried, the embattled co-founder of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, has petitioned for conditional release from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, Bloomberg first reported. The request to allow him to work with his legal team five days a week comes as he gears up for his October fraud trial.
Facing charges of conducting a widespread fraudulent scheme that allegedly allowed unauthorized access to billions of FTX customer funds, Bankman-Fried’s legal team has found the current confinement conditions insufficient for preparing his defense. They cite the immense volume of evidence, including a substantial number of Slack communications, as a significant challenge.
The defense has requested that Bankman-Fried be permitted to meet with them at the Manhattan federal courthouse during weekdays, emphasizing the necessity of an internet-connected laptop to facilitate the review process.
Prosecutors have voiced concerns over the request, arguing that Bankman-Fried has not fully disclosed all relevant details related to his planned defense strategy. While they have proposed transferring essential documents to hard drives for his examination at the detention center, they remain hesitant about moving all the data to a single laptop.
The situation became more complex after Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail was revoked due to concerns about potential witness interference. His attorney, Christian Everdell, has stressed the difficulty in sifting through the extensive documentation related to the case.
Despite the serious allegations, Bankman-Fried insists on his innocence. His lawyers have criticized the government’s current plan as wholly insufficient, alleging that it infringes on his Sixth Amendment rights to effective counsel.