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Sam Bankman-Fried Won’t Get Out of Jail: Appeals Court to Take Up the Case

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • Sam Bankman-Fried was denied immediate release from a Brooklyn jail by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
  • The court plans to have a three-judge panel review Bankman-Fried's plea, adding another layer of complexity to the high-profile case.
  • Against the backdrop of billions allegedly stolen and witness tampering, Bankman-Fried faces serious fraud and conspiracy charges.
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Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange, was denied immediate release from a Brooklyn detention facility on Wednesday.

The decision came from the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ahead of his criminal trial.

Sam Bankman-Fried Lost Bid to Be Freed

Sam Bankman-Fried sought release to better prepare for his upcoming criminal trial slated for October 3. While denying Bankman-Fried’s immediate release request, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan indicated that a forthcoming panel would review the plea.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan revoked his staggering $250 million bail on August 11, citing likely witness tampering instances. Prosecutors assert that Bankman-Fried pilfered billions from FTX’s customer accounts to offset losses at Alameda Research, his hedge fund.

Read more: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

The prosecution’s hard stance against him intensified after Bankman-Fried disclosed the personal writings of Caroline Ellison, his former romantic partner and ex-CEO of Alameda Research. He faces charges of fraud and conspiracy, claims he vehemently denies.

Sam Bankman-Fried: Crypto Billionaires With Largest Loss
Crypto Billionaires With Largest Loss. Source: Statista

Bankman-Fried argues that sharing Ellison’s writings aimed to protect his reputation rather than intimidate her. Ellison is expected to testify against him, intensifying the complicated trial.

“It is unclear how a cooperating witness who has promised to testify against a defendant could be meaningfully threatened by nothing but their own statements being published by a reputable newspaper,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers wrote.

His legal team highlighted that the current jail conditions have proven inadequate for trial preparation. While Sam Bankman-Fried has been allocated a few hours daily to review evidence on a laptop at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the arrangements are less than ideal.

For instance, Bankman-Fried lost significant time during mandatory prisoner counts and faced additional constraints over the weekend.

Read more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

Responding to these concerns, the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan revealed that the detention center authorized the purchase of a second laptop for Bankman-Fried. Meanwhile, Judge Kaplan signaled openness to considering a trial delay, though the defense has made no formal request.

“If the defendant in good conscience feels that he needs a postponement … they can ask,” Kaplan said.

While a spokesman for Bankman-Fried declined to comment, the crypto market awaits the next chapter in this unfolding saga.

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Bary Rahma
Bary Rahma is a talented journalist who graduated from New York University with a degree in Journalism. In her extensive career, she has worked for renowned media outlets such as CNN, showcasing her investigative skills and storytelling abilities. Currently, Bary contributes her expertise to BeInCrypto, where she crafts insightful articles on the dynamic crypto industry. In addition to her work at BeInCrypto, she has contributed her expertise as a content writer for Binance, creating...