Founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, finds himself embroiled in increasingly complex legal challenges as federal judge Lewis Kaplan denied his request for temporary release. Despite the vigorous efforts of Bankman-Fried’s legal team, comprised of prominent lawyers Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, the judge emphasized that the defendant had landed himself in this predicament due to his own actions. The previously granted bail was revoked by the judge, who found evidence of witness tampering initiated by Bankman-Fried on multiple occasions.
Defense grievances meet judicial skepticism
The defense argues for more satisfactory access to essential online databases and collaborative tools, vital for building a compelling defense before the impending trial set for October 3. However, these arguments were met with skepticism by Judge Kaplan, who highlighted that neither Bankman-Fried nor any other defendant have the right to review every piece of discovery produced. He acknowledged the competence of Bankman-Fried’s legal team, but noted that their requests for extended daily work hours on the defense lacked persuasion.
The time pressure the defendant now claims to be facing, given the imminent trial date and alleged limitations of his access [to electronically stored documentation and other materials] during his incarceration, would largely be of his own making.
Judge Lewis Kaplan
Upcoming trial: a race against time
Both the prosecution and the defense have engaged in a struggle regarding the trial date, which is now set for early October. The defense team, though given the opportunity to propose a postponement, refrained from doing so, a detail that did not escape the judge’s notice. He pointed out that the pressure Sam Bankman-Fried now claims to be under, considering the approaching trial date and his alleged restricted access to materials while in custody, is largely a situation of his own making. However, the judge left a door open for potential changed circumstances, allowing for the possibility of a future application based on more convincing and factual arguments.