Wealthy people charged with crimes have no right to be freed from jail and watched at home by private guards, the federal court weighing Jeffrey Epstein’s appeal of his bail request ruled in a separate case.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York on Thursday refused to overturn a bail ruling that is keeping Jean Boustani, an executive of the Privinvest maritime services companies, behind bars. Boustani had asked to be released to home confinement while awaiting trial for his part in an alleged $2 billion fraud and money-laundering scheme.

The appeals court discussed the issue of private armed security guards for wealthy defendants -- a request made by Epstein, who’s charged with trafficking underage girls for sex and is now appealing a lower-court judge’s refusal to release him on bail. The Boustani ruling could doom Epstein’s bid because the judges in his case are likely to apply the same logic.

“The Bail Reform Act does not permit a two‐tiered bail system in which defendants of lesser means are detained pending trial while wealthy defendants are released to self‐funded private jails,” Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes wrote for a three-judge panel.

Martin Weinberg, a lawyer for Epstein, didn’t immediately return a voicemail seeking comment on the ruling.

In recent years, some wealthy defendants accused of serious crimes have been released to what critics describe as a gilded cage -- home confinement in opulent apartments, watched by private guards they paid for. Among them: Bernard Madoff; Marc Dreier, the New York law firm founder who was charged in a $400 million fraud; and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was accused of sexual assault in state court.

Prosecutors later dropped charges against Strauss-Kahn. Madoff and Dreier pleaded guilty and are serving long sentences.

That bail practice has been controversial. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who denied Epstein’s bail request last month, had earlier ruled against a similar request by Reza Zarrab, a wealthy Iranian-Turkish gold trader who eventually cooperated with prosecutors.

The appeals court in its ruling Thursday quoted Berman’s decision in the Zarrab case, in which he said that granting bail to defendants because they can afford to pay armed guards is “unreasonable because it helps to foster inequity and unequal treatment in favor of a very small cohort of criminal defendants who are extremely wealthy.”

In Epstein’s case, Berman ruled that he poses a “danger to the community.” While noting that Epstein could use his wealth to flee, he also said the financier posed a threat to his alleged victims and potential witnesses. He pointed to “compelling testimony” from two women who said that Epstein had sexually abused them when they were teens and who claimed he continues to be dangerous.

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