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Attorneys for Sam Bankman-Fried submitted a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Sunday requesting that the FTX founder be allowed access to his prescribed medication during his ongoing fraud trial, saying he is unable to focus without it.
The filing by the defense said that Bankman-Fried has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and was prescribed the medication Adderall to be taken throughout the day. However, since the beginning of his trial two weeks ago, he has only been permitted to take the drug once in the early morning before being transported to court.
"Mr. Bankman-Fried has been doing his best to remain focused during the trial for the past two weeks, despite not having his prescribed dose of Adderall during trial hours," the letter read. "However, as we approach the defense case and the critical decision of whether Mr. Bankman-Fried will testify, 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."
The defense attorneys said they have attempted to resolve the issue with prison officials but received no response. They proposed that their client be given an extended 12-hour dose of Adderall on Monday morning before trial resumes, but noted that there is no guarantee prison officials will provide this—or that it will be effective.
"If the current proposal does not work, 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," the letter stated.
Failing that, the filing asks the court to issue an order to allow Bankman-Fried's attorneys to provide him the drug at the courthouse on trial days.
The filing comes as Bankman-Fried's trial on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud heads into its third week. He is being prosecuted over the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange FTX last year. He faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted.
The fallen crypto mogul's need for medication came up during his initial court appearance in the Bahamas last December, when he requested permission to apply a patch containing prescription medication he had been without since his arrest. Pre-written remarks Bankman-Fried had planned to give Congress also mentioned he takes a patch medication called Emsam to treat depression. It's unclear if Bankman-Fried is still taking or prescribed Emsam.
In addition to being unable to access prescribed medication, Bankman-Fried has also struggled to maintain his strict vegan diet while in custody, leaving him limited to bread, water, and peanut butter.
Given the Sunday filing and its request for accommodations on Monday, Judge Kaplan has limited time to review and possibly grant the request for medication access.
Editor's note: This story was drafted with Decrypt AI from sources referenced in the text, and fact-checked by Ozawa.