Sam Bankman-Fried Will Remain in Jail Through the Start of His Trial

An appeals court rejected his attorneys’ attempt to free him in the run-up to the trial.

AccessTimeIconSep 21, 2023 at 9:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 21, 2023 at 11:45 p.m. UTC

Sam Bankman-Fried’s attempt to get out of jail before the start of his trial next month was rejected by an appeals court.

In August, the FTX founder’s release on bond was revoked and he was locked up because a judge ruled he’d probably tried to tamper with witnesses. Earlier this month, his request to overturn that decision was denied. On Thursday, an appeals court refused to overrule that.

“We reject [Bankman-Fried’s] contention that the district court failed to consider a less restrictive alternative to detention,” the order said. “The record shows that the district court considered all of the relevant factors, including the Defendant-Appellant’s course of conduct over the time that had required the district court to repeatedly tighten the conditions of release.”

Bankman-Fried’s trial begins Oct. 3 in a federal courtroom in Manhattan. He faces fraud and conspiracy charges tied to the operation and later collapse of his crypto exchange, and has pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.

The decision marks the second setback for Bankman-Fried on Thursday, after Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the criminal case, granted prosecutors’ motions to block every single one of his proposed expert witnesses.

While the defense team can try again to put at least some of the witnesses on the stand, they’ll have to jump through certain hoops and the U.S. Department of Justice can still object.


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