FTX Founder’s Plea: Access to ADHD Medication for Trial Concentration

FTX Founder’s Plea: Access to ADHD Medication for Trial Concentration

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Key Insights:

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s unusual request for Adderall during his trial raises legal and medical complexities.
  • Issues with medication access continue to plague the former FTX CEO’s trial.
  • The trial’s intricacies, the defense’s challenges, and the struggle for essential medications form a multifaceted narrative.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the renowned co-founder of FTX, has approached the U.S. legal system with an unusual request. As his trial unfolds, Bankman-Fried has sought permission for a long-release dose of Adderall, emphasizing his struggles to maintain concentration during trial sessions.

A correspondence reached New York District Judge Lewis Kaplan on the 15th of October. SBF’s legal counsel elaborated on the message’s contents, outlining their client’s plea for a “12-hour extended-release 20mg dosage of Adderall” to be dispensed before the scheduled trial on October 16. The communication emphasized that the absence of this medication significantly impairs the FTX founder’s capacity to focus, thereby hindering his full engagement in the forthcoming trial.


Moreover, SBF’s defense team is increasingly anxious. With the trial’s progress and the looming decision on whether he will testify, his lawyers believe that needing more medication would significantly impede his capability to present his defense effectively.

A History of Medication Issues

Interestingly, this isn’t the first instance where the former FTX CEO’s medication became a point of contention. Despite striving to stay focused during the trial, the absence of his required stimulant has affected his attentiveness. Additionally, after Judge Kaplan’s Aug. 14 motion allowing him medication access in prison, by Aug. 22, complaints surfaced regarding Bankman-Fried not receiving his Adderall for a continuous 11-day period.

Furthermore, concerns from the legal team suggest that even if the requested extended-release dose is granted, its effectiveness remains uncertain. Hence, a proposal was made: Should SBF not receive or if the medication proves ineffective, the trial should halt for a day on Oct. 17. This pause, they hope, would allow them to identify a viable solution for the trial’s duration.


Efforts to resolve this predicament with the Bureau of Prisons have hit a wall. The Bureau, reportedly, has yet to respond to the defense team’s multiple outreach attempts between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.

The Charges and The Defense

The legal backdrop is intense. Former FTX CEO SBF stands accused of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy against FTX investors and customers. The defense, led by seasoned attorneys Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, paints a picture of a young entrepreneur caught in a whirlwind of rapid company growth. They stress that no theft occurred. 

However, prosecutors point to changes in FTX’s code and tweets, implying deception towards investors and clients. Despite these charges, the defense remains silent mainly, occasionally highlighting the legalities of the relationship between Bankman-Fried and Alameda Research.

The complexity of the trial is evident. With the government initiating the case, there’s a 95% chance of indictment. This fact underscores the uphill battle for the defense. For them, credibility remains a primary concern. Critical witnesses like Adam Yedidia and Gary Wang, former friends and associates of Bankman-Fried, now cooperate with the Department of Justice. Cohen’s team, however, challenges their reliability, emphasizing that Bankman-Fried’s mistakes were in good faith.

The Struggle Behind Bars

Beyond the courtroom, another battle brews. Since his bail revocation, SBF’s access to essential medications has become a pressing concern. According to a letter from Dr. George Lerner, Bankman-Fried has battled Major Depressive Disorder and ADHD since early 2019. Hence, access to prescribed medications like Selegiline and Adderall is crucial.

Without these medications, the repercussions could be severe. Dr. Lerner warns of a resurgence in depression and ADHD symptoms, potentially compromising Bankman-Fried’s ability to contribute to his defense. While the legal wrangling continues, the human element remains evident. Bankman-Fried’s well-being, both mentally and physically, is paramount.

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Christopher Craig
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Christopher Craig

Christopher Craig, a crypto literary savant, masterfully deciphers the intricate world of blockchain. Blending astute analysis with a clear narrative, Christopher's articles offer readers a lucid understanding of digital currencies. As the crypto sector expands, his erudite insights continue to guide both novices and seasoned enthusiasts

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