According to court documents dated Nov. 9, a judge has partially granted U.S. prosecutors’ request to counter the bail of John Karony, the CEO of crypto platform SafeMoon.
A filing from New York prosecutors indicates that a Utah magistrate judge, Daphne A. Oberg, issued Karony’s release order on Nov. 8. Karony’s bail included a $500,000 bond plus conditions of house arrest and restrictions on financial activities.
However, Prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York said the Utah judge did not consider Karony’s finances and his ability to flee. Specifically, they said that Karony had millions of dollars of assets that the court was not aware of, including a Utah home currently being sold for $1.5 million, various expensive items, and money in an unnamed company.
The Nov. 9 filing states that Karony’s release order will be stayed (paused) until the matter is resolved. That filing is signed by District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall for the Eastern District of New York, where Karony’s criminal case is proceeding.
The order does not revoke Karony’s bail in its entirety, require Karony to remain in custody until trial or require Karony to be transferred to the Eastern District of New York.
The government added that Karony has strong ties outside of the U.S. and asserted that there are no conditions that could ensure that he continues to appear.
Prosecutors noted that Karony has “shown a desire to remain abroad” since working on SafeMoon. Specifically, they said that Karony took twelve trips to Europe in just over two years. Most recently, they said, Karony was outside of the U.S. for five months before returning on Oct. 27. He planned to stay in the U.S. for just weeks.
Prosecutors filed charges this month
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York alleged on Nov. 1 that Karony and other SafeMoon executives had committed securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.
The agency said that Karony and other executives had manipulated SafeMoon (SFM) prices and misappropriated millions of dollars locked in SafeMoon liquidity pools. The executives spent those funds on luxury vehicles, real estate, and personal investments.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed parallel charges, suggested that executives had appropriated $200 million from their project in total.