- The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Sam Bankman-Fried's request for release, citing his prior witness tampering.
- Bankman-Fried's defense, invoking the First Amendment, was insufficient to sway the court.
- Bankman-Fried, convicted on multiple charges, will remain in custody until next year's sentencing.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has recently denied Sam Bankman-Fried's appeal for release.
Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX and convicted of numerous fraud-related charges, had sought freedom while his legal team challenged his conviction.
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Central to the appellate court's decision, issued on November 21st, was Bankman-Fried's history of witness tampering during his pretrial release. The court expressed its clear stance, stating:
We have reviewed the Defendant-Appellant’s additional arguments and find them unpersuasive.
Prosecutors had previously accused Bankman-Fried of interfering with the legal process by 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. Despite Bankman-Fried's contention that his actions fell under the purview of freedom of speech, the appellate court supported the lower court's decision that the First Amendment does not protect witness tampering.
Further weakening his case, the appellate court dismissed arguments Bankman-Fried's legal team presented that the district court had not considered less restrictive alternatives to detention. The appellate court noted that the district court had thoroughly assessed all relevant factors, including Bankman-Fried's conduct while on pretrial release.
With a conviction on seven counts of fraud and money laundering, Bankman-Fried now faces continued incarceration until his sentencing scheduled for March 28th, 2024. This decision underscores the legal challenges Bankman-Fried confronts and the seriousness with which the courts treat his case.