Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for an immediate release while his lawyers appeal his conviction.
In a mandate issued on Nov. 21, the Appeals Court sided with the District Court’s ruling to detain Bankman-Fried because there was reason to believe he attempted to tamper with two witnesses in an attempt to influence them before testifying at his criminal trial.
“We have reviewed the Defendant-Appellant’s additional arguments and find them unpersuasive,” said the court.
The alleged witness tampering that prosecutors used in their arguments against Bankman-Fried include his leaking of the contents of a private journal written by former Alameda Research CEO and ex-girlfriend Caroline Ellison to the New York Times.
Incidentally, it was after this article was published that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to include a personal list from Ellison titled “Things Sam is Freaking Out About” into evidence in their case against Bankman-Fried.
The ruling has sealed Bankman-Fried’s fate with respect to his chances of leaving prison before his sentencing on March 28, 2024. The former FTX CEO was found guilty on all seven counts against him at the end of his trial which concluded earlier this month.
The jurors rejected the entirety of the defense’s argument that Bankman-Fried was unaware of the company’s financial problems and arguments that members of his inner circle – Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Gary Wang – were to blame.