FTX Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried’s Release Motion Denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals
FTX’s founder and a convicted fraudster, Sam Bankman-Fried, will continue to serve his time in jail having failed to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals to release him as his legal team contests his conviction.
In a mandate dated November 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected Bankman-Fried’s appeal, largely due to his violation of his pretrial release conditions by attempting to influence two witnesses. The court declared, “We have reviewed the Defendant-Appellant’s additional arguments and find them unpersuasive.”
Accusations against Bankman-Fried
Government authorities alleged that Bankman-Fried disclosed the private journals of Caroline Ellison to The New York Times in July, an action that resulted in the termination of his bail by a New York District Court.
Bankman-Fried contended that the New York court did not take into account his First Amendment right to freedom of speech. However, the appellate court concurred with the judgment of the New York District Court, stating that witness tampering “falls outside the zone of constitutional protection.”
Molly White disclosed, “The 2nd Circuit has – rather belatedly – denied Sam Bankman-Fried’s appeal of his pretrial detention. ‘The record supports the district court’s conclusion that there was probable cause to believe that the Defendant-Appellant attempted to tamper with two witnesses.'”
Bankman-Fried’s Legal Team’s Arguments
Bankman-Fried’s defense team further argued that the District Court had not deliberated on a less burdensome alternative to detention. This argument was dismissed, with the court asserting that the District Court had “thoroughly considered” all relevant factors, which also included Bankman-Fried’s conduct during his pretrial release.
Bankman-Fried was proven guilty on seven separate charges related to fraud and money laundering on November 2.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Future
The erstwhile FTX CEO will stay in custody while the court awaits his sentencing, scheduled for March 28 in the upcoming year. These developments raise questions about trust and transparency in the cryptocurrency market, as well as the actions crypto exchanges undertake with user assets.