Judge denies motion for Bankman's release

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Judge denies motion for Bankman's release

The judge presiding over the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday denied yet another motion seeking the pretrial release of the onetime CEO of FTX, a crypto exchange once valued at $32 billion that collapsed in November.

On Tuesday, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell asked Lewis Kaplan to let bankman-Fried spend the trial outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center, the notorious Brooklyn prison where Bankman-Fried has spent the last month and a half in a cell after his bail was revoked in August.

Kaplan's denial of the contract likely puts an end to a weeks-long crusade Bankman-Fried's attorneys have waged on behalf of their client as they approach what promises to be one of the most scrutinized trials of the decade.

After the Justice Department charged Bankman withfraud in December, the FTX cofounder put up a $250 million bail, secured by his parents and friends of the family at Stanford, and spent seven months at his parents' home in Palo Alto as he prepared for trial.

Bankman-Fried's ability to stay at his parents' home was subject to numerous stipulations, and the prosecution's lawyers contend, he repeatedly flouted the conditions of his release.

In February, he used a VPN to stream the Super Bowl and obscure his internet browsing. Kaplan reprimanded him and ordered him to stop logging into a VPN.

In July, the Times published a story about Caroline Ellison, the former CEO of Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency hedge fund attached to FTX. The article was based on pages of Ellison's diary entries, and the defense lawyers for the government alleged that Bankman-Fried leaked the documents to the Times reporter. Bankman-Fried's lawyers did not deny the allegations, and in August, the Justice Department told Kaplan to revoke SBF's bail on the basis of witness tampering.

Since then, his lawyers have repeatedly plied Kaplan and an appeals court for Bankman-Fried's pretrial release, pointing to the conditions of the jail and their client's inability to effectively prepare for trial.

Kaplan and the panel of three judges have not been persuaded.