US Judge Lewis Kaplan has granted former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), permission to meet with his legal team to prepare for his upcoming trial in October. However, this meeting is limited to a specific time frame on August 22, from 8:30 am to 3 pm. Other requests made by SBF have been denied.
According to Judge Kaplan’s order, SBF will be able to meet with his counsel in the Marshal’s cell block attorney room. He is allowed to bring one Internet-enabled laptop and a Wi-Fi device. The judge has dismissed all other requests made by the fallen crypto tycoon.
SBF’s lawyers had requested that he be granted freedom during weekdays, citing restrictive jail conditions that would hinder his ability to adequately prepare for the trial. Despite being accused as the main culprit behind the FTX meltdown, SBF had previously been allowed to spend several months at his parents’ house under a $250 million bond.
However, SBF was sent to jail on August 12 following allegations of witness tampering. The leak of Caroline Ellison’s private diary, the former CEO of FTX’s sister company Alameda Research, was a contributing factor in the authorities’ decision. The US Department of Justice argued that Bankman-Fried’s actions could have intimidated Ellison, who is expected to testify against him in the upcoming trial.
SBF had spent nearly eight months living in luxury at his parents’ $4 million home in Palo Alto, California. However, he is now being held at MDC Brooklyn, one of the worst prisons in New York City. The facility is overcrowded, with a capacity of 1,000 inmates but currently housing over 1,600 people. The living conditions are reported to be horrific, including overflowing toilets, corruption rumors, contaminated water and food, and violence.
If found guilty on all fraud charges, SBF could face a prison sentence of up to 115 years. It is unclear whether he will remain at MDC Brooklyn after hearing the potential punishment.
Overall, this limited time outside of his prison cell allows SBF to consult with his legal team, albeit under strict conditions. The upcoming trial will determine the outcome of the allegations against him and the potential consequences he may face.