Judge Lewis Kaplan has revoked the bail of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and ordered his detention after allegations of witness tampering. The decision comes ahead of Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial, which is set to begin on October 2. CNBC reported on the judge’s ruling.
The motion filed by federal prosecutors expressed concerns about Bankman-Fried’s potential to tamper with witnesses and the jury in his upcoming trial. Judge Kaplan sided with the prosecution, stating that Bankman-Fried had tried to interfere with witnesses on multiple occasions. As a result, the judge denied the defendant’s request for a delayed detention pending an appeal.
Bankman-Fried will be remanded at the Putnam jail while he awaits his appeal and prepares for the trial. Prosecutors have indicated that he will have access to the internet at the facility, which will aid in his defense preparations. This is in contrast to the MDC, the closest jail to the court, which offers limited internet access.
Following the judge’s decision, Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyers filed an appeal. Inner City Press reported that the appeal was submitted less than an hour after Bankman-Fried was handcuffed, and a $505 filing fee was paid. The appeal will be reviewed in the Second Circuit court.
The prosecution’s push to have Bankman-Fried’s bail revoked and him jailed stems from allegations of witness tampering. The Department of Justice accused Bankman-Fried of leaking the private diary of his former colleague, Caroline Alison, who is now a key federal witness, to a New York Times reporter. The government believes that Bankman-Fried intended to discredit Alison and potentially influence the jurors. During a previous hearing, Judge Kaplan had warned Bankman-Fried about his behavior and mentioned the possibility of bail revocation.
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