Less than two weeks after the court revoked Sam Bankman-Fried’s bail, his legal team has requested that his freedom be returned to him during weekdays, arguing that the confines of jail are, surprisingly, too restrictive and do not offer him the circumstances necessary to properly prepare for his upcoming trial.
SBF’s eye-watering $250 million bond was revoked on the 11th of August following the leak of Caroline Ellison’s private diary and other inappropriate liaisons with former FTX colleagues, which was seen as witness-tampering by the judge presiding over the case.
As a result, Sam has been spending his days ever since at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), allegedly one of the worst prisons in New York City.
Aside from plastic-rich meals, bad plumbing, and too many residents, the detention center also boasts a library full of dime novels – which might be where SBF got the idea to plea for a new status as a regular weekend offender.
While locked up at Brooklyn MDC, SBF is unable to access and review the array of evidence he will have to answer for come October, according to his lawyers.
“Just last week, the government produced three-quarters of a million pages of Slack communications, which were supposed to be produced months ago, that Mr Bankman-Fried will have no hope of reviewing under this schedule.”
In return, the prosecution accused SBF of being late in presenting his defense strategy in the first place. As a result, the prosecutor’s office requested that SBF be disqualified from using his planned defense strategy – namely, that his actions while at the head of FTX were the result of his reliance on lawyers – if he does not turn in all information related to this strategy within the next few days.
Alternatives to Weekday Freedom
After hearing out both sides, Judge Kaplan declined to rule in favor of SBF. Instead, he requested alternative solutions to the document review problem.
One option was to provide all documents on hard drives that would then be delivered to Brooklyn MDC – however, this was shot down as unfeasible.
A second suggested alternative was to transfer SBF to a smaller prison in the county, where internet access could be provided under supervision. However, the prosecution and prison officials balked at the idea.
For now, SBF will remain captive in the same facility, pending further review of his situation by Judge Kaplan.