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Scenes from S.B.F.’s Summer Vacation

Photo: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Theodore Schleifer
June 15, 2023

Don’t tell anyone, but Sam Bankman-Fried actually enjoys his now-regular trips to the 21st floor of the Daniel P. Moynihan Federal Courthouse, in Manhattan. After all, save for strolls across the few yards of grass outside his family’s ranch-style house in Palo Alto, his flights, hotel stays, and elevator rides to Judge Lewis Kaplan’s courtroom are his only physical engagement with the outside world. It is here, and only here, where he can feel like a full person—an excuse to don a suit, move with an entourage, and forget, if only for a minute, that he is under house arrest. In this circumscribed existence, federal court hearings are effectively summer vacation for one of America’s most notorious defendants.