He shares a 90-square-foot cell with an accused murderer and a drug trafficker.
As a baby-faced entrepreneur, Kaleil Isaza Tuzman once symbolized the tech industry’s meteoric meltdown. Just years out of Harvard College and a stint at Goldman Sachs, he launched an Internet company only to see it collapse three years later.
Bloomberg News reports that today, he finds himself in a South American maximum-security prison, begging to return to the U.S to face securities fraud charges that could send him to an American jail cell for as long as 20 years.
For now, he shares a 90-square-foot cell with an accused murderer and a drug trafficker in Patio 16, a wing of the Colombian prison reserved for often-violent defendants.
Just how Isaza Tuzman, a 44-year-old U.S. citizen, ended up there is now the subject of a legal fight in New York. He was arrested in September in Colombia at the request of U.S. prosecutors after he was indicted for allegedly cheating investors in mobile-video company KIT Digital. They said he was a risk to flee and now needs to go through Colombia’s extradition proceedings.
His lawyers, Reed Brodsky and Avi Weitzman, say in court filings that he’s in 'life-threatening conditions' at La Picota prison, a lockup in Bogota decried by the nation’s inspector general for its harsh conditions. And they argue that the arrest of a non-violent, white-collar defendant on foreign soil marked an unprecedented departure for U.S. authorities.
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