Sam Bankman-Fried loses appeal to be released from jail

Sam Bankman-Fried loses appeal to be released from jail

The cryptocurrency conman will have to remain behind bars as his legal team fights for his release

FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder and convicted felon Sam Bankman-Fried will remain behind bars after attempts to persuade a US appellate court that he should be released during his legal team’s appeals process have failed.

The November 21 ruling filed by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit states that Bankman-Fried’s previous tries at tampering with two witnesses while out on bail were the principal grounds for denying the request.

“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 motion for immediate release pending disposition of this appeal is denied as moot,” reads the document.

Federal prosecutors blamed Bankman-Fried for revealing Caroline Ellison’s private diaries to The New York Times in July, provoking the New York District Court to revoke his bail.
Bankman-Fried asserted that the New York court failed to consider that he was engaging in constitutionally protected activity, viewed as freedom of speech under the First Amendment.

However, the appellate court ruled that the New York District Court made the correct decision and that tampering with witnesses “falls outside the zone of constitutional protection.”

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers also asserted that the court never considered a less restrictive option to incarceration.

That argument was rejected, as the appellate court argued that the district court “thoroughly considered” all pertinent factors, including Bankman-Fried, while he was released pretrial.
Bankman-Fried was found guilty on November 2 of seven felonies related to fraud and money laundering. He will remain in custody pending his sentencing on March 28, 2024.

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