DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A federal appeals court has refused to intervene and release a Southfield money manager who is facing fraud-related charges.
The court said it won’t upset a decision by a federal judge who ordered John Bravata to jail in June because of a fear that he might flee the country.
Bravata is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. Investigators allege Bravata took part in a scheme to defraud investors over a three-year period stretching from 2006 to 2009. Authorities say he collected $53 million from investors.
The feds also claim Bravata used investor funds to pay for the construction of his roughly 18,000 square foot personal home and to pay for other personal expenses.
Bravata insists he invested the money in real estate and denies any fraud.
The appeals court said this week that pre-trial detention is appropriate because Bravata has a “strong motive” to flee. He was arrested in May after returning to the U.S. from Italy.
Authorities say he was exploring whether he could avoid extradition to the U.S. if indicted while in Italy.
If convicted of wire fraud, Bravata faces up to 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.