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Founder of Collapsed Cryptocurrency Exchange FTX Alleges Inadequate Conditions in Prison

Image caption: Sam Bankman-Fried was led into court wearing leg restraints and a beige prison uniform

The Situation

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is currently in prison awaiting trial. His lawyer claims that he is “subsisting on bread and water” as the prison has not provided him with the vegan diet he requested. Bankman-Fried has been charged with fraud following the failure of his company, FTX.

The Allegations and Plea

During a recent court hearing in New York, Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges outlined in a new indictment. His lawyer, Mark Cohen, raised concerns about the lack of adequate food affecting Bankman-Fried’s ability to prepare for his trial, scheduled to commence in October. Additionally, it was revealed that he has not received the attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall and is running low on his medication Emsam, which is used to treat depression.

Addressing the Issues

Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has taken note of the concerns and assured the court that she will raise the medication issues with the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons. Judge Netburn also stated that she believes vegetarian food is available at the facility but is unsure about vegan options. The Bureau of Prisons released a statement asserting that inmates have access to appropriate healthcare, medication, and hot meals.

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The Indictment and Denial

The new indictment against Bankman-Fried includes seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of FTX in November of the previous year. However, it no longer accuses him of conspiring to violate US campaign finance laws. Bankman-Fried maintains his plea of not guilty, acknowledging that FTX had inadequate risk management but denying any wrongdoing or funds misappropriation.

The Collapse of FTX

Once the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, with a valuation of $32 billion (£25 billion), FTX filed for bankruptcy protection on November 11, causing significant disruptions in the cryptocurrency market.

With the ongoing legal proceedings and concerns about Bankman-Fried’s conditions in prison, the case continues to attract attention from the media and the cryptocurrency industry.

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