FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried has asked a United States judge for long-release Adderall, saying he’s finding it hard to concentrate properly during his criminal trial.
In an Oct. 15 letter to New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers asked if he could take a “12-hour extended-release 20mg dose of Adderall” before he’s transported to trial on Oct. 16.
The lawyers added that Bankman-Fried’s lack of the prescribed stimulant during trial hours means he’s “not been able to concentrate at the level he ordinarily would.”
As Bankman-Fried’s defense case and the decision on whether he will testify approach, his lawyers are concerned the FTX founder won’t be able to “meaningfully participate” in presenting his defense without medication.
The former FTX CEO has been “doing his best to remain focused during the trial” despite his lack of medication during trial hours, the letter added.
Even if Bankman-Fried takes the requested medication, there’s “no way of knowing at present whether the extended-release dose will be effective,” his lawyers claimed.
They requested the court stop the trial for one day — on Tuesday, Oct. 17 — if Bankman-Fried could not take the long-release dose or if the medication didn’t work so they could “find a solution that will work for the remainder of [the] trial.”
Alternatively, the lawyers requested that Judge Kaplan permit them to provide Bankman-Fried with his prescription of Adderall at the District Court during the trial.
The lawyers claimed they had attempted to solve the issue with the Bureau of Prisons but had not received a response to their five attempts to contact the BOP via email and calls between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.
Judge Kaplan first approved a motion allowing Bankman-Fried to access Adderall and anti-depressant medication while in prison on Aug. 14 after his lawyers said he has a history of major depressive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has been under psychiatric care since early 2019.
Shortly after the approval, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers complained about his lack of access to medication, saying in an Aug. 22 hearing that he had not received Adderall for the previous 11 days.
Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial is entering its third week. Previously, the court heard testimony from former Alameda Research CEO and Bankman-Fried’s ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang and a former developer for FTX, Adam Yedidia.
Bankman Fried has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence during the trial.
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