Judge denies final pre-trial request from Sam Bankman-Fried for temporary release

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will remain in jail at least until the start of his Oct. 3 criminal trial following an order from a federal judge.

In a Sept. 28 hearing in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Lewis Kaplan denied a motion from SBF’s legal team requesting the former FTX CEO be given temporary release in order to prepare for his trial. Bankman-Fried’s lawmakers had made repeated attempts to argue for release since Kaplan revoked his bail on Aug. 11 due to allegations of witness intimidation. The matter twice went to appellate court without success for SBF’s team.

Kaplan reportedly suggested that SBF might be a flight risk if “things begin to look bleak” at trial, considering his age and potential prison time. Though the judge denied SBF early release, he added that the former FTX CEO will have the opportunity to arrive  court early on certain days to confer with his legal team.

Related: FTX founder’s plea for temporary release should be denied, prosecution says

Final preparations for Bankman-Fried’s trial are underway as many in and out of the crypto space await revelations related to alleged fraud at FTX as well in the testimony of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison. On Sept. 27, Judge Kaplan granted some ‘housekeeping’ motions allowing SBF to wear a suit at trial, as well as use an air-gapped laptop in the courtroom for taking notes.

The Oct. 3 trial will be the first of two for Bankman-Fried. He will face 7 charges related to the misuse of customer funds in October, and 5 additional charges at a second trial scheduled for March 2024. SBF has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

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