Lawyers for the FTX co-founder expressed concern about Sam Bankman Fried's living conditions after a superseding charge was filed against him on Tuesday.
Bankman-Fried, who had previously pleaded guilty to previous indictments of the case, pleaded no guilt on seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Bankman-Fried, who is accused of witness tampering and has been detained at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center since his criminal trial starts in October, will be held there until then.
Lawyers for FTX's founder Sam Bankman Fried expressed concern about the living conditions of their client at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center where he is being held for alleged terrorism.
The legal team for Bankman-Fried told a federal court that the former crypto billionaire "lives on bread, water and peanut butter" because the prison can't accommodate a vegan diet. He was only offered "flesh-meals" as a standard.
Mark Cohen, an attorney in the case, said that Bankman-Fried was also a victim of fraud.
Adderall, the medication prescribed to him by his doctor, had not been received.
Cohen stated that his client had only a "limited and "dwindling supply" of Emsam - a transdermal treatment for depression. U.S. district judge Lewis Kaplan is presidening the criminal trial.
A jail had been told that
Bankman-Fried should be provided with these prescription medications.
Bankman-Fried appeared in court for the first time on Tuesday since he had been sent to MDC at the beginning of this month. He will be kept there until the criminal trial in October. In a superseding indictment, Bankman-Fried, wearing a beige jail uniform and ankle chains, pleaded no contest to seven charges including fraud and conspiracies. He had previously pleaded guilty to other indictments relating to the collapse his crypto empire.
A letter from Bankman Fried's psychiatrist, George Lerner was included in an earlier request by Bankman-Fried’s lawyers. Lerner has been treating Bankman Fried since February 2019.
"Mr. Bankman has a history with Major Depressive Disorder, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder."
Lerner warned that without his medication "Bankman Fried will experience a recurrence of his depression symptoms and ADHD and his ability to help in his defense will be severely affected."
Sarah Netburn, Magistrate Judge, said that she would investigate these issues right away and try to find a solution within the day.
Christian Everdell is another attorney in Bankman Fried's legal team. He told Netburn there were "serious Sixth Amendment concerns" with Bankman Fried not being able prepare for and participate in his defence, even though the trial was only six weeks away.
Bankman-Fried is still unable to access the internet or a laptop. His lawyers argued that if their client is in jail, they will be unable to prepare him for his trial because the discovery documents are only available via an internet-connected computer.
Judge Netburn stated that the defense must make all requests for trial preparation through Judge Kaplan.
Bankman-Fried's attorneys were granted permission by Judge Kaplan on Monday to leave the Manhattan courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street immediately after Tuesday's arraignment. Judge Netburn stated that she would directly address any concerns about Bankman-Fried’s living conditions with the Bureau of Prisons of the U.S. Justice Department, which operates the jail.
The bail of Bankman-Fried was revoked because he leaked private diary entries from his ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison.
The New York Times
In her many personal writings Ellison expressed her self-doubt as well as her feelings of stress due to her former role at Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto hedge funds, Alameda Research.
Sam Bankman Fried sent to prison for witness tampering