Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will have the possibility to leave jail for a few hours every day, according to a court filing issued on Monday.
The disgraced FTX founder has been granted a limited window, from 8:30 am to 3 pm today, to meet with his defense team outside his jail confines. His lawyers initially petitioned for this window to be extended to five days a week.
For those meetings, the judge will permit SBF’s lawyers to bring along “one internet-enabled laptop and one WiFi device.”
SBF’s lawyers didn’t immediately reply to Decrypt.
He was incarcerated on August 11, following allegations of witness tampering.
He is accused of leaking the personal writings of his former romantic partner and CEO of Alameda Research Caroline Ellison to a New York Times reporter.
SBF’s lawyers tried to convince Judge Kaplan that this was not an attempt to intimidate the former Alameda Research CEO, who is a crucial witness, or taint the jury pool, and that it was not enough to justify his detainment ahead of the trial.
But Judge Kaplan didn’t agree and even decided that a gag order preventing SBF from speaking with the media would be insufficient. He asked a federal judge to issue an order restraining SBF and other involved parties from making statements that could potentially interfere with a fair trial.
Bankman-Fried under surveillance
Prior to this, SBF had been under house arrest at his parent’s residence in Palo Alto, California, since he was arrested in December on fraud charges.
His internet access is heavily monitored, and he is only permitted to access websites that were pre-approved by the government. SBF was also allowed to acquire a new mobile phone, but without access to the internet.
SBF’s trial is planned to start on October 2. The ex-crypto billionaire will face thirteen counts of conspiracy and fraud over FTX’s collapse.
Prosecutors accuse Bankman-Fried of diverting billions of dollars from FTX customer funds to cover losses at his hedge fund Alameda Research.
Additionally, they allege that he misled investors and lenders and made illegal contributions to U.S. political campaigns using his colleagues’ names.
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