The founder of FTX – Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) – has reportedly pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan federal court to seven criminal charges in a new indictment. This was his first appearance since his bond was revoked earlier this month, leading to his imprisonment.
SBF is expected to spend the days until his trial in MDC Brooklyn: a jail located in New York City notorious for its unpleasant living conditions. The lawyer of the 31-year-old American – Mark Cohen – claimed that his client survives on “bread and water” because the prison refused to honor his vegan diet and medication requirements.
No Change of the Plea
As reported by Reuters, the fallen crypto mogul has once again pleaded not guilty to several fraud and conspiracy charges that allege him as the main culprit behind the FTX collapse and the colossal investor losses it brought.
Prosecutors have previously accused him of stealing billions of dollars from users and orchestrating a massive scam. While SBF acknowledged inadequate risk management at FTX, he denied draining clients’ funds.
It is worth mentioning that the new indictment did not charge Bankman-Fried with conspiring to violate US campaign finance laws since the authorities of the Bahamas objected to that matter.
Nonetheless, American prosecutors remain determined to show that he allegedly donated approximately $100 million to US political campaigns, which was a key part of his probable fraudulent scheme.
SBF pleaded not guilty in January and has not changed his stance ever since. Unlike him, Caroline Ellison (former CEO of Alameda Research and his ex-lover) and Gary Wang (former executive at FTX) admitted having a role in the meltdown last November. Both individuals are poised to testify against Bankman-Fried in the trial, set for October 2.
His Prison Days Went From Bad to Worse
The former CEO of FTX was recently placed in MDC Brooklyn (a prison facility in New York City) after sharing private information from Ellison’s diary. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) argued that these actions could have intimidated his ex-romance partner and insisted on SBF’s detention.
As CryptoPotato previously reported, MDC Brooklyn is among the worst jails in the region, where contaminated food and water, overflowing toilets, corruption, and violence are not absent.
SBF’s lawyer has also maintained that the prison’s management team did not honor his client’s food requirements, and as a result, he is “subsisting on bread and water.” It is interesting to note that he insisted on a vegan diet, whereas a statement from the Bureau of Prisons claimed MDC provides “nutritionally adequate meals” and that “all dietary requirements are met.”
In addition, Cohen said the jail failed to give him the medication Adderall to treat attention deficit hyperactive disorder, while the supply of Emsam to cure depression was running low.
According to the attorney, those factors could hamper SBF’s ability to properly prepare for the upcoming trial. If found guilty on all charges, the former boss of FTX could receive up to 115 years in prison.
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