Sam Bankman-Fried may need more time to review 'substantial' evidence, lawyers say

Quick Take

  • Sam Bankman-Fried could ask to delay his October trial, his lawyers said in a court filing.
  • The former FTX boss has not seen some evidence in the case, including former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s iPhone.

Sam Bankman-Fried may request to delay his October trial, his lawyers said in a letter to a federal judge this week.

The disgraced FTX founder says he may need more time to review troves of evidence that prosecutors have collected. Bankman-Fried is under house arrest in California on a $250 million bond and could spend the rest of his life in jail if he is convicted on criminal charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York 

“Depending on the volume of the additional discovery and the timing of the productions, it may be necessary to request an adjournment of the trial, currently scheduled to begin on October 2, 2023,” wrote Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell.

Bankman-Fried has not seen a “substantial” portion of discovery in the case, which includes former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison’s iPhone, FTX co-founder Gary Wang’s laptop, two other laptops that belong to former employees of FTX and Alameda and 30 Google accounts, his lawyers said in a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan. Discovery is the process where lawyers exchange information about the witnesses and evidence they'll present at a trial. 

Cell phones and laptops from members of Bankman-Fried's inner circle could be crucial for prosecutors in his criminal case. Ellison and Wang both pleaded guilty in December to criminal charges tied to their roles at FTX and Alameda Research. 

Negotiating laptop use

Meanwhile, the former FTX CEO has for months been tied up in a legal dispute over his bail terms. Prosecutors have sought to curtail Bankman-Fried’s internet access after he used an encrypted app to contact a possible witness in his criminal case and a virtual private network, which he claimed he needed to watch the Super Bowl.