Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, lost an initial appeal to return to being free on bail prior to his criminal trial.
In a Sept. 6 filing in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Clerk of Court Catherine O’Hagan Wolfe said a circuit judge had denied a motion from SBF’s legal team requesting his immediate release from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. The former FTX CEO’s lawyers had petitioned the court for temporary release, claiming the current measures aimed at allowing SBF to help prepare for his defense at trial were inadequate due in part to limited internet access.
“The motion for pretrial release is referred to the next available three-judge panel,” said Wolfe. “To the extent Appellant requests his immediate release pending decision by the three-judge panel, that request is denied.”
Following his extradition from the Bahamas and arraignment in the U.S. in December 2022, Bankman-Fried had been free on a $250-million bond and largely confined to his parents’ California home. However, a federal judge revoked his bail on Aug. 11 following allegations of witness intimidation toward former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, with whom SBF shared a personal and professional relationship.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have made several filings following the judge’s decision on bail, requesting SBF have more time to review evidence in the visitor’s room at the Brooklyn jail as well as the New York courthouse cell block attorney room, where he can be allowed access given sufficient notice to the court. The former FTX CEO has roughly four weeks before his Oct. 3 trial is scheduled to begin.