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No Bars Behind Bars? FTX Founder's Lawyers Decry Shoddy Prison Internet

Mon, 09/11/2023 - 16:00
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Alex Dovbnya
Having poor internet connection is not just inconvenient — it could also impact course of justice; that is what lawyers for FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried are arguing in recent court filing
No Bars Behind Bars? FTX Founder's Lawyers Decry Shoddy Prison Internet
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In an age where good internet is almost considered a basic human right, FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried's legal team is lamenting the spotty prison Wi-Fi. According to a recent court filing, the subpar internet connection at New York's 500 Pearl Street cellblock is hampering Bankman-Fried's ability to prepare for his upcoming fraud trial.

Inside SBF's internet struggle

The defense submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan detailing its grievances. Bankman-Fried was promised access to an internet-enabled laptop twice a week for four to five hours in his cellblock.

However, the actual situation seems far from ideal. For starters, Bankman-Fried was not brought to the cell block until two hours after the scheduled time, slicing off precious time for document review.

When he eventually arrived, he found himself in a holding cell without the promised laptop. And even when granted access, the tortoise-paced internet connection meant he could only load one document in an hour and a half. 

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The defense claims these conditions make it nearly impossible for Bankman-Fried to prepare adequately for trial.

From house arrest to jail cell  

Previously under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, Bankman-Fried found himself facing jail time after Judge Kaplan revoked his bail. Citing credible evidence of witness tampering, Kaplan deemed Bankman-Fried a complex client not easily contained by a simple gag order. The defense has announced plans to appeal the bail revocation, but its request for a delay in detention was denied. It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried was initially released on a hefty $250 million personal recognizance bond last December.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.