Sam Bankman-Fried’s Motion for Pretrial Release Goes Before 3-Judge Panel

The former FTX CEO is trying to win back his freedom – at least temporarily – to prepare for his October trial.

AccessTimeIconSep 6, 2023 at 8:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 6, 2023 at 8:53 p.m. UTC

Sam Bankman-Fried must remain in Brooklyn jail until federal appellate judges rule on his motion for pretrial release, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday.

Bankman-Fried faces a litany of financial crimes related to his crypto exchange’s November 2022 collapse. He had been out on bail until the federal judge overseeing his case revoked his bail in early August for witness tampering, a decision the former FTX CEO appealed.

That appeal will be heard by the next available three-judge panel, the clerk of the court said Wednesday while also denying his request for immediate release. The timeline on next steps was not immediately clear.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers and the government have fought for weeks now over what the defense claims are subpar conditions in the Metropolitan Detention Center. They claim their client can’t properly prepare for his October trial from jailhouse bars, and therefore needed to be released. That motion is separate from their appeal of Judge Lewis Kaplan’s revocation of Bankman-Fried’s bail.

Judge Lewis Kaplan last week asked both sides to brief him on “the current situation at the MDC” by this past Tuesday. But the government and the defense are at odds over what that situation is; they submitted conflicting letters to the court addressing his ability to access laptops with defense material. Kaplan is giving the defense until Sept. 8 to clear up any issues it sees.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Danny Nelson

Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.

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