April 19, 2024
US Government Opposes Sam Bankman-Fried's Release
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US Government Opposes SBF’s Bid for Pre-Trial Release: Trial Date Looms

On September 27, the United States government communicated its opposition to Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) and his legal team’s motion for temporary release from custody before his trial on October 3 in a letter sent to Judge Lewis Kaplan. The government’s stance was outlined in its filing, requesting that Judge Kaplan deny SBF’s request, which had been submitted on September 25. Both sides are scheduled to present their arguments in court today.

The government asserted that SBF’s claims of being unable to meaningfully participate in his own defense, which he argues justifies his release, do not outweigh the potential risks associated with releasing him, given his previous behavior. These risks are categorized as posing a threat to the community and the possibility of fleeing.

Furthermore, the government criticized the renewed motion, characterizing it as rehashing general claims and citing two prior instances when the court rejected similar requests. The first instance occurred on September 12, when SBF’s plea for immediate release pending trial was turned down due to various factors, including his extensive access to electronic discovery for seven and a half months prior to his bail being revoked just before the trial. Additionally, SBF failed to provide specific details about the materials he claimed he couldn’t access, among other reasons. The second instance was on September 21, when a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit also rejected SBF’s release request, deeming the arguments unpersuasive.

The prosecution emphasized that in this second denial, the Court of Appeals affirmed the conclusion that there was probable cause to believe SBF attempted to tamper with two witnesses in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b), specifically acting with unlawful intent to influence these witnesses.

Given this context, the government contended that the renewed motion suffers from the same deficiencies as the initial one.

SBF’s criminal trial in New York City is scheduled for October 3, during which he will face seven fraud-related counts related to his time at FTX and Alameda Research. Additionally, in March 2024, he will stand trial for five more counts in a separate criminal case. SBF has maintained his plea of not guilty to all charges.

Image by pixabay

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