Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, is scheduled to ask a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to order his release from a New York prison weeks before the start of a trial where he faces seven criminal charges.
Bankman-Fried and his attorneys will have five minutes to convince a trio of judges that remaining at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) will deter SBF’s ability to prepare his defense, according to Reuters.
This is SBF’s second attempt following a decision by a Southern District of New York court to deny his pretrial release
After U.S. District Judge Kaplan Lewis revoked Bankman-Fried’s $250 million bail, his lawyers said the ruling violated SBF’s Sixth Amendment rights.
They argued that easy access to Bankman-Fried would be crucial in building a defense ahead of the trial slated to kick off Oct. 3.
Judge Kaplan’s ruling on Aug. 11 found that prosecutors proved that the FTX founder had probable cause to tamper with witnesses. The ruling came after Bankman-Fried spoke to a New York Times journalist.
Prosecutors noted that SBF allegedly leaked the diary of Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of his hedge fund Alameda Research.
SBF’s Criminal Charges
Bankman-Fried entered a not-guilty plea to seven criminal charges including fraud. The allegations are tied to FTX’s crash in November 2022, which bankruptcy administrators said was caused by loose corporate controls.
Authorities stated Bankman-Fried funded donations, property purchases, and unlawful company practices with stolen customer assets. Notably, SBF suggested that risk management systems at his companies were not industry standard.
Ahead of the upcoming trial, four former executives in SBF’s crypto empire have agreed to plea deals with federal prosecutors, including Ryan Salame and Caroline Ellison. It’s unclear if any of the former executives will testify against Bankman-Fried during the trial.
In other related news, the now-bankrupt crypto exchange is suing SBF’s parents, Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, for misappropriating millions of dollars.