Disgraced former crypto tycoon Sam Bankman-Fried will be confined in a notoriously rough jail in Brooklyn, New York, until his trial, Reuters reported.
Bankman-Fried will be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center until his scheduled trial in October following U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s Friday decision to revoke his bond over probable cause he tampered with witnesses, according to Reuters. MDC has faced ongoing issues with understaffing, power outages, maggots in prisoners’ meals and corruption in recent years.
An MDC guard pleaded guilty in March to receiving bribes in exchange for smuggling drugs, and criminal defense lawyers denounced the jail’s conditions as “inhumane” in January 2022. An electrical fire during winter in 2019 disrupted MDC’s lighting and heating for days, coinciding with temperatures dropping close to zero degrees, according to Reuters.
Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys asserted that raw sewage entered her cell when she was confined at MDC, according to Reuters.
Detention at MDC would prevent Bankman-Fried from “fully participat[ing] in his defense” due to the defendant’s inability to access the internet and discovery materials at the facility, his attorneys argued in a letter to the judge on August 1.
“The MDC is currently in a staffing crisis, which will make it impossible for the MDC to provide sufficient access to the discovery, which is unusually voluminous and complex,” the letter asserts. “Moreover, the prison does not permit inmates to have internet access, which will cut off Mr. Bankman-Fried from key parts of the discovery entirely and render the rest effectively unreviewable.”
The judge placed a temporary gag order on Bankman-Fried in July due to alleged witness tampering after leaking his former girlfriend and business partner Caroline Ellison’s diary entries to The New York Times, according to CNN Business.
Bankman-Fried had been under house arrest at his parents’ California home on a $250 million bond after the Bahamas extradited him to the U.S. when his cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed in December.
Bankman-Fried is slated to face seven charges in October, including defrauding FTX customers and lenders, according to the NYT. Prosecutors allege that he masterminded a scheme to divert billions of dollars from customers’ FTX deposits to fund campaign contributions, donations to charities and real estate acquisitions.
Bankman-Fried’s attorney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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