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Alex Dovbnya

Having poor internet connection is not just inconvenient — it could also impact course of justice; that is what lawyers for FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried are arguing in recent court filing

In an age where good internet is almost considered a basic human right, FTX founder Samuel Bankman-Fried’s legal team is lamenting the spotty prison Wi-Fi. According to a recent court filing, the subpar internet connection at New York’s 500 Pearl Street cellblock is hampering Bankman-Fried’s ability to prepare for his upcoming fraud trial.

Inside SBF’s internet struggle

The defense submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan detailing its grievances. Bankman-Fried was promised access to an internet-enabled laptop twice a week for four to five hours in his cellblock.

However, the actual situation seems far from ideal. For starters, Bankman-Fried was not brought to the cell block until two hours after the scheduled time, slicing off precious time for document review.

When he eventually arrived, he found himself in a holding cell without the promised laptop. And even when granted access, the tortoise-paced internet connection meant he could only load one document in an hour and a half. 

The defense claims these conditions make it nearly impossible for Bankman-Fried to prepare adequately for trial.

From house arrest to jail cell  

Previously under house arrest in Palo Alto, California, Bankman-Fried found himself facing jail time after Judge Kaplan revoked his bail. Citing credible evidence of witness tampering, Kaplan deemed Bankman-Fried a complex client not easily contained by a simple gag order. The defense has announced plans to appeal the bail revocation, but its request for a delay in detention was denied. It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried was initially released on a hefty $250 million personal recognizance bond last December.

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