Founder of FTX Jailed Until Trial Date
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX, has been jailed until his trial date following allegations of witness tampering. His lawyer states that Bankman-Fried is subsisting on bread, water, and sometimes peanut butter as a vegan in prison, and that he is lacking access to his medication, including Adderall and Ensam.
During a court hearing on Thursday, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer, Ryan Moravitz, claimed that his client was “being punished for being innocent,” and that the prison conditions were hindering his ability to prepare for trial. Moravitz added that Bankman-Fried is the only vegan in his unit, and is subsisting on bread, water, and sometimes peanut butter.
“He’s incarcerated with people who have significant mental health issues,” Moravitz told the judge, Sarah Netburn. “He’s not getting his medication. He’s getting bread and water and peanut butter. He’s being punished. He’s being harmed.”
Netburn promised to address the medication issue with the US Bureau of Prisons and expressed confidence in the availability of vegetarian meal options. The judge did, however, rule to revoke Bankman-Fried’s bail, a decision that is likely due to his former partner, Caroline Ellison, being a key witness in the case against him.
“I am the author of my own fate,” Bankman-Fried told the judge, denying that he had attempted to influence Ellison’s testimony. “I admit to a lot of things – I admit to failures in my management, but I did not steal any money, and I did not steal a single dollar from any of the people who entrusted me.”
Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas in December of the same year and subsequently extradited to the US. The full extent of the issues at FTX are yet to be revealed, but an Enron liquidation manager described it as “a complete failure of corporate controls.”
Bankman-Fried has admitted to failures in his management but denies stealing any money and all charges against him. If convicted of all charges, he could face over 100 years in prison.
Check out our extensive coverage of FTX’s collapse for more details about what went wrong at the exchange.