The federal judge presiding over the fraud case involving former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has denied a motion for his temporary release. The judge expressed concerns about the possibility of SBF becoming a flight risk due to his age and the potential prison time he faces.
This decision means that SBF will remain in jail until the commencement of his criminal trial on October 3.
Background Of The SBF Case
The case revolves around allegations of fraud at FTX, and SBF is facing a total of seven charges related to the misuse of customer funds in October. Additionally, a second trial is scheduled for March 2024, where he will confront five additional charges. SBF has consistently pleaded not guilty to all counts.
The Denial of Temporary Release
In a hearing held on September 28, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York saw Judge Lewis Kaplan denying a request from SBF’s legal team for his temporary release to prepare for the upcoming trial.
This decision came after Kaplan revoked SBF’s bail on August 11 due to allegations of witness intimidation. Moreover, SBF’s legal team made multiple attempts, including appeals to higher courts, but they were unable to secure the release motion.
Judge Kaplan’s Concerns
Judge Kaplan’s decision to deny SBF’s temporary release was accompanied by concerns about SBF potentially becoming a flight risk. The judge cited SBF’s young age and the prospect of facing prison time as factors that could influence his decision to flee if the trial does not unfold favorably for him.
However, while SBF was denied early release, Judge Kaplan did offer a compromise by allowing SBF to arrive at court early on specific days to confer with his legal team.
Trial Preparations and Upcoming Proceedings
As the trial date of October 3 approaches, preparations for Bankman-Fried’s legal defense are in progress. The crypto community and the public at large are eagerly awaiting the trial, which promises revelations related to the alleged fraud at FTX. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison is expected to testify.
In a recent development, on September 27, Judge Kaplan granted some “housekeeping” motions, permitting SBF to wear a suit during the trial. Furthermore, the court will permit him to use an air-gapped laptop in the courtroom for taking notes, ensuring a fair and organized legal process.
Further, Sam Bankman-Fried’s legal battle continues as he faces the prospect of two trials, the first scheduled for October 3. Moreover, the denial of his request for temporary release raises questions about the potential implications of his case.