The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has rejected the bid by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried for release. This decision comes as his legal team pursues an appeal against his conviction on fraud charges.
Alleged Witness Tampering Leads to Denial
Notably, the main grounds for the rejection of Bankman-Fried’s release bid revolve around his alleged witness tampering. The appeal court, in a mandate dated Nov. 21, highlighted his previous attempts to tamper with two witnesses while on pretrial release as a significant factor in denying his request.
Furthermore, the backdrop to this legal drama includes government prosecutors accusing Bankman-Fried of leaking Caroline Ellison’s diaries to The New York Times in July. This action led to the revocation of his bail by a New York District Court. Bankman-Fried’s defense, asserting that his actions were protected under the First Amendment as freedom of speech, was rebutted by the appellate court.
They also upheld the New York District Court’s ruling, asserting that witness tampering does not fall within the constitutional protection zone.
Failure to Consider Less Restrictive Alternatives
Bankman-Fried’s legal team contended that the district court did not adequately consider alternatives to detention. However, the appeal court rejected this argument, stating that the district court thoroughly evaluated all relevant factors, including Bankman-Fried’s conduct during his pretrial release.
Guilty Verdict and Sentencing Date
The legal developments follow Bankman-Fried’s guilty verdict on seven charges related to fraud and money laundering on Nov. 2. As a consequence, he will remain in custody until his sentencing, scheduled for March 28 next year. This further adds an additional layer of anticipation and complexity to the unfolding legal saga surrounding the prominent figure in the blockchain and web development sphere.