MONEY & BUSINESS: Sam Bankman-Fried is getting ADHD medication in Brooklyn jail, filing shows
Jailed FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried is taking ADHD medication while awaiting trial on federal fraud charges in a notorious Brooklyn jail, a court filing revealed Friday.
Bankman-Fried’s access to the prescribed drug was referenced in a letter from Manhattan federal prosecutor Damian Williams, who raised objections to some of the proposed questions included in a jury questionnaire submitted by the disgraced ex-billionaire’s defense team.
“The Government is also wary of the Court suggesting to the jury that the defendant’s ‘physical behavior, body language, or eye contact’ are a product of ADHD,” Williams said in the letter. “The defendant is currently taking medication for his ADHD, which should effectively manage any symptoms.”
“Moreover, the description of the potential visible symptoms of ADHD is both vague and expansive, and invites the defendant to disrupt the trial under the guise of exhibiting symptoms of ADHD,” Williams added.
Williams said the defense’s proposed questions to potential jurors about ADHD are “irrelevant and prejudicial” and “would serve only to improperly cast the defendant at the outset of the trial in a sympathetic light.”
The Post has reached to the Southern District of New York for comment.
Bankman-Fried’s lawyers declined comment.
Bankman-Fried’s medical needs have been a subject of close scrutiny during pre-trial proceedings before the highly-anticipated fraud case kicks off Oct. 2.
However, the disgraced cryptocurrency whiz kid’s legal team complained to Kaplan on Aug. 22 that Bankman-Fried hadn’t received Adderall and other prescribed medications after he was locked up – and argued it could hinder his preparations for the trial.
Bankman-Fried’s defense attorney, Mark Cohen, later acknowledged in a Sept. 8 filing that his client had access to medication, though he did not specify which drugs he had received.
The prosecutor’s letter said the possibility of disruptions was “of particular concern given the defendant’s prior efforts to use behavioral eccentricity to his advantage.”
In his objection, the federal prosecutor said the defense’s “proposed voir dire contains numerous unnecessary and time-consuming questions, often soliciting open-ended discussion, as well as questions that are repetitive, prejudicial, and argumentative.”
The feds also objected to what Williams described as the defense’s “open-ended” questions about jurors’ ability to ignore pre-trial coverage of Bankman-Fried’s role in FTX’s downfall, as well as questions related to his embrace of so-called “effective altruism.”
Bankman-Fried’s accused of bilking FTX customers out of billions of dollars – money that he allegedly used to fund a lavish lifestyle and prop up bad bets at his cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research.