A U.S. Court of Appeals court denied former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried's appeal to be released from jail ahead of his trial.
Bankman-Fried's attorneys had asked a New York district court to grant the former billionaire's temporary release from jail in order to review documents ahead of his Oct. 3 trial.
“We have reviewed the Defendant-Appellant's additional arguments and find them unpersuasive. Upon due consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion for release pending trial is DENIED,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on Thursday.
Bankman-Fried was sent to await trial in jail in August after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering by leaking the private diary of former colleague and ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison to the New York Times and using an encrypted message app to contact a potential witness.
Appeals court sides with district court
"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 in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b), and specifically that he acted with unlawful intent to influence those witnesses," the appeals court wrote.
The appeals court also said the district court was right when it said that a person engaging in speech to commit a criminal offense, such as witness tampering, "falls outside the zone of constitutional protection."
Bankman-Fried faces over 100 years in prison if he is convicted on a slew of charges including fraud over allegations that he and other FTX executives used billions of customer assets to make their own failed investments. FTX filed for bankruptcy protection late last year.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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