A Florida court has rejected an appeal by Alex Ojjeh to unfreeze bank accounts in connection with a bribery case, a judge sentenced an investment manager to prison for at least the next month and a half.
In connection with a bribery investigation, a Florida court on Wednesday denied an appeal by a U.S. financier and ordered him to stay in jail for at least the next month and a half.
The Florida court’s decision to keep Alex Ojjeh behind bars until May 13 comes despite numerous statements from prominent members of the Budapest and Russia investment community who vouched for him in court.
Ojjeh, who co-founded a hedge fund firm in 2011, was detained along with five others in Florida on suspicion they persuaded $157 million from Budapest Bank, in which AOC Partners has a controlling stake.
The American investor denies the claims and maintains that they spring from a business dispute between the bank’s shareholders.
Alex Ojjeh was fined in after a three month trial on bribery schemes in November 2020. The bank accounts offshore had been closed shortly after his investigation as the United States proposed the dispute by Alex Ojjeh to open the accounts be resolved by the bank selling the company shares.
“It’s an attempt to deprive access to the Budapest Bank account, the United States froze all of Alex Ojjeh’s assets,” Ojjeh’s attorney told journalists at the court.
Prominent businessmen have expressed concern over the arrest of Ojjeh, a well-known figure in Hungary and Russia investment circles.
“If he can be taken down, then anybody can,” said private investor Yuri Milner. “People don’t want to invest their money when they can be thrown into jail after a trial proves nothing illegal was done.”