In a recent development, the judge overseeing the fraud case of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has expressed concerns about the possibility of him being a flight risk. Despite attempts from SBF’s legal team to secure temporary release for trial preparation, the request was denied in a hearing on September 28 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, presiding over the case, highlighted the potential flight risk associated with SBF’s age and the looming prospect of prison time. This decision comes after SBF’s bail was revoked on August 11 due to allegations of witness intimidation, leading to multiple unsuccessful appeals by his legal team.
While denying early release, Judge Kaplan did provide a compromise by allowing Bankman-Fried to arrive early at court on specific days to consult with his legal team. As preparations for the impending trial unfold, the crypto community is eagerly anticipating revelations concerning alleged fraud at FTX and the anticipated testimony of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.
In a related update, Judge Kaplan granted some procedural motions on September 27, allowing SBF to wear a suit during the trial and use an air-gapped laptop in the courtroom for note-taking purposes.
The first trial for Bankman-Fried is set to commence on October 3, with seven charges related to the alleged misuse of customer funds. A second trial, scheduled for March 2024, will involve an additional five charges. SBF maintains his plea of not guilty to all counts.