United States federal prosecutors have halted the bail of SafeMoon’s CEO Braden John Karony after they challenged the previous order citing a danger to the community and a potential flight risk.
Court filings show New York District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall has paused Karony’s bail previously ordered by a Utah Magistrates the previous day. Judge Daphne Oberg, had initially given an order setting the bail sum at $500,000, a fee vehemently opposed by prosecutors.
The effect of the initial bail order would have seen the embattled CEO return to his Miami residence and barred him from several crypto-related activities including trading, accessing wallets, and promoting tokens.
The SEC just charged crypto project SafeMoon and its top executives for “perpetrating a massive fraudulent scheme” through the unregistered sale of crypto asset security $SFM.#CryptoNews https://t.co/xRidgGFMQw
— Cryptonews.com (@cryptonews) November 1, 2023
Karony is accused of three counts of conspiracy for fraud, money laundering, and wire fraud. Several crypto users also opined along social media spaces that the bail conditions were small compared to the charges slapped on the Chief Executive.
Prosecutors convince New York judge
The nitty-gritty of the prosecution’s case revolves around the defendant being a flight risk and a potential danger to the community if released.
According to court documents, given his access to cash and international connections, they fear that he could leave the United States stating that the judge took no account of his substantial financial means.
“These facts all provide powerful incentives for the defendant to leverage his substantial (and opaque) financial assets and foreign ties to avoid that outcome.”
Challenging the bail conditions, they highlighted that the $500,000 bail was ordered without consideration of all the defendant’s assets as he gave very little information concerning his assets while the prosecutors believe that his net worth is in the millions.
It was also argued that if convicted, the defendant faces a maximum jail term of 45 years, and considering his ever-increasing European and UK ties citing his fiancée being a British citizen, he could easily leave the country.
SEC compounds legal problems
Karony was arrested alongside the Chief Technology Officer Thomas Smith on Oct 31 at Salt Lake City Airport while the creator Kyle Nagy is still at large.
Reports suggest that Nagy has been released on a $500,000 bond and is currently accessing a plea deal with prosecutors. The trio were slapped with charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating securities in a “massive fraudulent scheme,” hitting them with multiple counts of fraud.
The financial regulator alleges that the executives took out more than $200 million to buy luxury items including paying for trips, cars, and houses. The whole saga unfolded when it was revealed that they didn’t lock a portion of investor assets in SafeMoon’s liquidity pool, sinking the asset live by 50%.
They further created trading accounts to buy and sell the assets, “to create the impression of market activity, a practice known as wash trading.”
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