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SBF Unhappy About Prison Diet, Pleads Not Guilty

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried asserts that subpar prison food is obstructing his trial preparation efforts.
  • Despite requesting a vegan diet, SBF claims he is subject to a lack of adequate food and medication in prison.
  • SBF was granted a 6.5 hour release day from prison to prepare for trial under supervision in a courtroom.
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Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried once again asserts his innocence in the US federal court. He now claims that the prison food is hindering his preparation for the upcoming October trial.

“The former billionaire was led into court wearing leg restraints and a beige-colored uniform for his first appearance since his bail was revoked on Aug 11,” the report states.

Subpar Prison Food Hampers SBF’s Trial Preparations

On Aug. 22, SBF’s lawyers reportedly informed the Manhattan federal court that he is surviving on a diet of “bread and water” in prison. It has been almost two weeks since the court revoked SBF’s bail on Aug. 11 for alleged witness tampering.

Despite his request for a vegan diet, the report indicates that the “lack of adequate food and medication” in prison is impeding SBF’s trial preparation efforts.

Facing seven charges of fraud and conspiracy, SBF entered a “not guilty” plea.

Prosecutors reintroduced allegations of violating US campaign finance laws, though not as a separate charge, to bolster the evidence for his wire fraud accusations.

These accusations followed claims that SBF used more than $100 million from misappropriated customer funds to foster political ties. Allegedly, the aim was to secure victories for pro-crypto industry candidates.

In late July, these charges were initially dropped after the Bahamas indicated they were not the grounds for extradition. However, this month, the prosecutors reconfigured these allegations to incorporate them as supplementary evidence.

Reportedly, after the hearing, SBF sought maternal support:

“After the hearing, Bankman-Fried spoke to his mother, Stanford Law School Professor Barbara Fried, across the low partition between the courtroom well and the galley.”

To learn more about the downfall of FTX, read BeInCrypto’s guide: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Intensity Increases as October Trial Approaches

SBF and his lawyers are seemingly working hard to get ready for the October trial.

Recently, his lawyers asked the judge to let SBF stay out of jail on weekdays. They argued that this would allow them to focus on building his defense. The judge denied the request.

However, on Aug. 22, SBF was granted a short 6.5-hour release from prison, from 8.30 am to 3 pm. During this time, he was supervised in a courtroom with his lawyers to prepare for the upcoming trial.

This comes amid US prosecutors providing guidelines for the jury on how to approach the trial.

The jury was instructed to treat each of the seven charges differently. Furthermore, they were requested not to let their verdict on one charge sway the decision on any of the remaining six charges.

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Ciaran Lyons
Ciaran is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He particularly enjoys writing about CBDC developments and the practical implementations of cryptocurrency in real-world scenarios. He has also appeared across major television networks in Australia including Channel Ten, Channel Nine and SBS TV. Prior to his foray into cryptocurrency, Ciaran worked as a presenter on national radio station Triple J.