Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried are petitioning the court to allow the FTX founder more Adderall during his hearings—and suggested adjourning his federal trial for a full day until the medication could be sorted out.
In a letter motion filed Sunday night, attorneys for Bankman-Fried—better known as SBF—said the former crypto billionaire did not have access to his prescribed dosage of ADHD medication during trial hours, causing concerns about his ability to focus on the proceedings. This is especially critical, the lawyers wrote, as SBF approaches the “critical decision” of if he will testify in his own defense.
“The defense has a growing concern that because of Mr. Bankman-Fried's lack of access to Adderall he has not been able to concentrate at the level he ordinarily would and that he will not be able to meaningfully participate in the presentation of the defense case,” his attorneys wrote.
The lawyers said Bankman-Fried is being given only one dose of Adderall at 4 a.m. or 6 a.m., which wears off by the time his trial begins at 9:30. According to previous court filings, Bankman-fried takes 10 mg of Adderall three to four times a day.
The plan is to administer an extended-release pill on Monday, the lawyers said, but it is unclear whether the Bureau of Prisons has the medication or whether the extended release pill will be effective. If that plan does not work, they asked for the trial to be adjourned on Tuesday until a better solution is reached, or to be permitted to administer the medication themselves.
Access to Adderall has been an issue for SBF since he was sent to a Brooklyn jail after having his bail revoked. Although Lewis Kaplan approved a motion to grant him “uninterrupted access” to his prescription in jail, lawyers told the court in August that Bankman-Fried had not received his prescription since he arrived 11 days earlier.
Bankman-Fried and his coworker and ex girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, both tweeted about stimulant usage while working at FTX and Alameda, the hedge fund started by SBF. Bankman-Fried once tweeted about “stimulants when you wake up, sleeping pills if you need them while you sleep,” while Ellison observed that there is “nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is.” Bankman-Friend later said he had only used the drugs as prescribed.
The former golden boy of crypto has pleaded not guilty to seven charges including securities fraud and wire fraud in connection to the collapse of FTX last November. The last few days of his trial in federal court in Manhattan were widely viewed as devastating for the defense, with two of his top lieutenants testifying that they committed crimes alongside him. In one instance, the former executive had to be reprimanded for shaking his head and scoffing during a witness’s testimony.