Bankman-Fried’s lawyers said that he needs 20mg of long-release Adderall, an ADHD medication, in order to “meaningfully participate” in his trial.
As the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried enters its third week, focus has returned to the topic of his ADHD medication, Adderall.
In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan, Bankman-Fried’s defence lawyer Mark Cohen requested that his client is correctly administered Adderall in order to “meaningfully participate” in the presentation of his defence.
Cohen said that Bankman-Fried has “not been able to concentrate” at the levels he ordinarily would without his medication, despite “doing his best”.
Adderall is a mixed amphetamine stimulant that’s used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Judge Kaplan allowed Bankman-Fried to access his medication from prison in August, after it was revealed that the former CEO had been under psychiatric care since early 2019.
Cohen wrote that a 12-hour extended-release 20mg dose of Adderall in the morning before the trial should “resolve the situation”, but it’s unclear whether this will be provided.
“If the current proposal does not work,” Cohen wrote, “either because the extended-release dose is not provided or it fails to have the desired effect, we respectfully request that trial be adjourned for one day on Tuesday, October 17, to find a solution that will work for the remainder of trial.”
While Bankman-Fried has received some of his medication throughout the trial, Cohen stated it was administered too early in the morning and “wears off” by the time he gets to the courthouse.
Bankman-Fried’s inability to access the correct medication has been widely reported. Cohen wrote that the defence team has been trying to resolve the matter for some time, but emails and voice messages to the BOP (Federal Bureau of Prisons) have gone unanswered.
On October 10, Caroline Ellison, former CEO at Alameda Research and alleged girlfriend to Bankman-Fried, told the court that she committed fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering alongside Bankman-Fried and others.
The week before, Gary Wang, FTX’s former chief technology officer, testified that the company had a backdoor that allowed Alameda Research to have a negative balance of $8B.
Wang noted that there was a code loophole that allowed the crypto trading arm of FTX to commingle customer funds, which was used for purchases, acquiring assets, and making donations to political campaigns.
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