Lawyers for TelexFree Inc. president James Merrill have filed an appeal to have him released from prison while he awaits trial on criminal fraud charges, citing “heated rhetoric” in the government’s effort to hold him.
In a filing Tuesday in federal court in Worcester, Merrill’s lawyers accused prosecutors of making speculative arguments “in the heat of the moment” to support their case that the executive is a flight risk.
They argued that TelexFree, the Marlborough company allegedly at the center of a huge pyramid scheme, may have had significantly more revenue from selling long-distance phone service than the $1.3 million regulators alleged.
They said revenue for the product “may have amounted” to more than $200 million.
TelexFree filed for bankruptcy protection in April, days before federal agents raided its office. The company had already been shut down in Brazil, where it started, in June 2013.
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