SafeMoon CEO Braden John Karony’s bail release order has hit a roadblock as U.S. federal prosecutors argue that his release poses a flight risk and a potential threat to the community.
On November 9, New York District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall halted the November 8 bail release order that had been granted by a Utah Magistrate judge, allowing Karony to post a $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors in New York contested Judge Daphne Oberg’s decision, asserting that the release order was granted “without consideration of the defendant’s substantial financial means and ability to flee,” and they further claimed that his release could endanger the community, given the serious charges he faces, which could result in a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison.
The prosecution argued, “These facts all provide powerful incentives for the defendant to leverage his substantial (and opaque) financial assets and foreign ties to avoid that outcome.”
Judge Oberg’s initial order would have permitted Karony to reside in his Miami apartment but restricted him from accessing crypto exchanges or wallets, conducting cryptocurrency transactions, or engaging in promotional activities.
However, prosecutors alleged that the Utah court did not adequately assess Karony’s financial resources when setting his bail at $500,000.
They contended that Karony had provided minimal information about his finances and could potentially access assets amounting to millions of dollars.
Additionally, prosecutors pointed out that Karony had extensive international ties, having spent months abroad in Europe and the United Kingdom with his British fiancée, a resident and citizen of the UK.
The prosecution requested that Karony be transported to New York and detained there, a matter that Judge Hall will consider at a later date.
Karony, along with SafeMoon creator Kyle Nagy and Chief Technology Officer Thomas Smith, was arrested on October 31 at Salt Lake City International Airport.
They face charges of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, as well as money laundering conspiracy.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also brought various fraud charges against them, alleging unregistered securities sales and misappropriation of funds to support the price of SafeMoon (SFM) tokens.
While Thomas Smith was released on a $500,000 bond on November 3 and is pursuing a plea deal, the Department of Justice stated that Kyle Nagy remains at large.