While in federal custody, disgraced cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has been living off “bread and water” because he’s not being provided with the vegan diet he requested, his attorney told a judge Tuesday.
During a hearing, Mark Cohen, lawyer for Bankman-Fried, said that improper diet and the jail’s failure to give Bankman-Fried the Adderall he needs to manage his attention deficit hyperactive disorder, will impact his ability to participate in readying his defense case.
“Because he’s following his principles, he is literally now subsisting on bread and water,” Cohen said, adding that his client’s supply of the medication Emsam to treat depression was running low.
The founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has been in federal jail since 11 August when judge Lewis Kaplan revoked Bankman-Fried’s $250m bond. Kaplan said he had concluded there was probable cause to believe Bankman-Fried had tried to “tamper with witnesses at least twice” since his December arrest. Bankman-Fried had stayed mainly at his parents’ home in Palo Alto, California, since his December arrest after being extradited for allegedly stealing billions of dollars in FTX customer funds to plug losses at his Alameda Research hedge fund.
Federal prosecutors said that Bankman-Fried “crossed a line” by sharing his former romantic partner Caroline Ellison’s personal writings with a New York Times reporter in an attempt to discredit his former partner and chief executive at his company, who is expected to testify against him at his scheduled 2 October trial. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said prosecutors mischaracterized his intentions in sharing Ellison’s writings, arguing he wanted to defend his reputation and that he had a right to speak to the press.
On 13 August federal prosecutors introduced a new indictment in which they charged the former billionaire with seven counts of fraud and conspiracy and accused Bankman-Fried of using stolen customer funds to make more than $100m in campaign contributions ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections.
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