FTX Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud and Conspiracy Indictment Amidst Allegations of Inhumane Prison Conditions
Sam Bankman-Fried Pleads Not Guilty to Fraud and Conspiracy Charges
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has entered a plea of not guilty to new charges of fraud and conspiracy.
During his first appearance in Manhattan federal court, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer expressed concerns about his treatment in prison after being taken into custody earlier this month.
Allegations of Inhumane Conditions
Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty before United States Judge Sarah Netburn. He is currently held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a facility that public defenders claim has inhumane conditions.
Among the complaints, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, stated that his client was denied access to his essential medication, Adderall, used to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Additionally, the prison authorities failed to provide him with the required vegetarian diet, offering only bread and water.
Bankman-Fried has been in custody since August 11, when his bail was revoked due to allegations of witness tampering. His legal team has requested permission from Judge Louis Kaplan to release him five days a week for evidence review in a Manhattan court.
The defense argues that without this allowance, Bankman-Fried would not have enough time to adequately prepare for his trial, scheduled for October 2. Currently, he is only allowed to meet with his lawyer in the courtroom on Tuesdays and has access to a laptop for about six and a half hours.
The FTX Crash
Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, launched initiatives to rescue struggling cryptocurrency projects. However, his own platform collapsed within days in November 2022 due to a solvency crisis.
Prior to the crash, Bankman-Fried had achieved significant success in the cryptocurrency industry, amassing a substantial fortune. Unfortunately, the sudden collapse led to the company’s bankruptcy and Bankman-Fried’s departure as CEO.
While acknowledging the failure of the exchange’s risk management, SBF denies any theft of users’ funds.