Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Given Green Light for Unlimited Prison Visits

The FTX founder's lawyers will visit him in prison to prepare their defense after a judge denied Bankman-Fried’s request to have daily meetings at his lawyers’ Manhattan office.

AccessTimeIconAug 24, 2023 at 11:25 a.m. UTC
Updated Aug 24, 2023 at 3:46 p.m. UTC

A federal judge granted Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers permission to meet their client in prison after revoking the FTX founder’s bail just weeks before his trial, an order issued Wednesday shows.

According to the order, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers “can take unlimited advantage of the legal visitation hours” at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York to prepare their client for a weeks-long trial slated to begin Oct. 3. Bankman-Fried will have “frequent access” to a computer to review discovery materials, and can request “selected materials” be loaded onto hard drives for his viewing, the judge said in the order.

The order also references other accommodations made by the Bureau of Prisons in New York, but these were redacted in a letter filed by prosecutors last week.

Judge Lewis Kaplan’s concessions fell short of the defense’s requests that Bankman-Fried be released for daily hours-long meetings at his lawyers’ office in Manhattan or transferred to a lower-security prison in Putnam County, two hours north of New York City.

Bankman-Fried landed in a high-security prison two weeks ago after the case’s judge ruled the former executive repeatedly violated his bail conditions by attempting to contact witnesses slated to testify against him. The crypto kingpin was chastised by prosecutors for using a virtual private network (VPN) to speak to one of his former executives earlier this year. Months later, he faced similar rebuke for allegedly leaking former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s diary entries to the New York Times in what prosecutors said was an attempt to intimidate Ellison.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.

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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano was a news reporter at CoinDesk.