FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried spent months in the comfort of home detention until he leaked unflattering documents about a likely witness and ended up in prison. On Thursday, a judge rejected his latest exit attempt.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers had asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to grant their client a “temporary stay” for the duration of his trial, which begins next week, citing the need for him to mount an effective defense.
They suggested hiring a security guard to accompany Bankman-Fried from her offices each night, saying the security guard would ensure he did not use “computers, cell phones, the Internet, television or other electronic devices.”
The lawyers said Bankman-Fried would also agree to a “gag order” barring him from speaking to anyone other than his attorneys, their staff and his immediate family. Such a measure would have prevented further cases of alleged witness tampering after he Published documents about his former girlfriend and colleague Caroline Ellison The New York Times.
Prosecutors challenged Bankman-Fried’s motion, noting that the “inconveniences” cited in his motion were “common to all incarcerated defendants.” They also argued that he failed to specifically explain how his ability to prepare for trial was affected.
Prosecutors cited William Nardini, a judge on Court of Appeals for the Second District— which previously rejected Bankman-Fried’s request for release — said the crypto expert should have thought about the implications of imprisonment before allegedly trying to intimidate or influence witnesses.
“But like everyone else,” Nardini said, “if it’s true that he intimidated witnesses, at some point he’ll make his own bed and sleep in it.”