DOJ Claims Sam Bankman-Fried Has Sufficient Access to Laptop in Response to Jail Release Request

Source: a video screenshot, Forbes Breaking News / YouTube

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has claimed that Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, has sufficient access to a laptop computer for his defense.

According to a letter submitted by the DOJ on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried has access to a laptop functioning in an air-gapped environment for 11 hours each weekday and 7.5 hours on weekends and holidays. 

Furthermore, the founder has constant access to three hard drives containing defense materials. Twice a week, Bankman-Fried is provided with an internet-enabled laptop.

Addressing previous concerns raised by the defense regarding battery life and internet speed, the DOJ stated that the defense team had received a new battery extending the laptop’s usage time to approximately 8 hours. 

Additionally, the internet speed fluctuated between 7.5 megabits per second (Mbps) and 34 Mbps throughout the day. 

The DOJ believes this range is sufficient for most internet-related review activities and noted that several websites recommend 5 Mbps as sufficient for streaming videos.

“Although the internet speed varied in the late afternoon, all three internet speeds are sufficient for most internet review activities,” the DOJ wrote

The development comes after a federal judge ordered to provide a report detailing the conditions of Bankman-Fried’s detention at the Manhattan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

Bankman-Fried to Stay in Jail

Bankman-Fried was returned to jail in August after attempting to contact a witness and leaking another witness’s diary to the media. 

More recently, his lawyers asked for a temporary release from jail in order to work on his defense with his lawyers at the federal courthouse in Manhattan. 

They cited poor internet connectivity and limited battery life as significant hindrances to their efforts, emphasizing the need for his release from jail for effective defense preparation. 

However, Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York declined to grant the release during a hearing last week.

During the hearing, Kaplan ordered the involved parties to compile a comprehensive report on the matter. 

Meanwhile, Bankman-Fried is facing new allegations from the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the embezzlement of customer funds. 

According to an indictment filed last month, the disgraced crypto boss is accused of misappropriating and embezzling customer deposits from FTX, using the stolen funds to make over $100 million in political campaign contributions ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections.

The DOJ has also alleged that Bankman-Fried misappropriated and embezzled FTX customer deposits, utilizing the funds for personal enrichment, political donations, and to cover Alameda’s operating costs.

As reported, FTX debtors last week disclosed a series of financial statements that show top executives used company funds to their own advantage shortly before the cryptocurrency exchange collapsed.

One notable transaction highlighted in the filing is a payment of $2.51 million made from FTX to the American Yacht Group in March 2022, which directly benefited former Alameda Research co-CEO Sam Trabucco

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