The controversial trial, which is ongoing in federal court in New York, stands to decide the future of Bankman-Fried and whether he may spend the rest of his life in jail.
Attorneys representing Bankman-Fried claim that, without access to the medication he needs to manage his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the former crypto billionaire will be hindered in his ability to participate in the defense case. Bankman-Fried’s lawyer Mark Cohen explained in his letter to Judge Kaplan, “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.” The decision of whether or not to testify hung in the balance as of Monday.
Meanwhile, testimony in the trial continued Monday, with Nishad Singh, FTX’s former director of engineering, testifying in the case as the trial kicked off a third week, following an explosive week of testimony from Caroline Ellison, the former head of Alameda Research. Her testimony detailed the inner-workings of FTX and its sister company Alameda and how funds flowed from investors to the companies.
The process of attempting to gain access to two different prescriptions for Bankman-Fried has posed a challenge — he has been prescribed Emsam 9mg/24 hrs transdermal patch for the treatment of depression for over five years, as well as Adderall 10mg tablets, 3-4x/day for the treatment of ADHD for the past three years. The government has cooperated in the process, attempting to obtain the prescriptions, yet has been so far unsuccessful due to a nationwide shortage of Adderall. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has called on drug manufacturers to increase production.
Per CNBC, Bankman-Fried and his lawyers argued for additional time Monday morning to continue searching for the medication, hoping the court would adjourn on Tuesday if the drugs were unavailable.