Celebrity manager Titus Emanuel Day has been refused an 11th-hour application allowing him to jet to Abu Dhabi for high profile client Robert Whittaker's UFC fight.
Day, 47, was arrested and charged in early July for allegedly defrauding his former client Australian singer Guy Sebastian of $1.15 million from December 2013 to April 2020.
He was granted bail with a $10,000 bond and agreed to surrender his passport and not travel overseas.
However, his legal counsel launched proceedings last Friday in a last-minute attempt to have those conditions suspended so Day could travel to the United Arab Emirates for Whittaker's blockbuster clash with Darren Till on July 26.
Through his barrister Slade Howell, Day argued it was essential to attend the event for face-to-face commercial discussions if Whittaker failed to make weight or suffered an injury.
In a sworn affidavit, Australian MMA star Whittaker wrote that Day was an important member of his team who helped avert media and PR crises when previously injured in the octagon.
But Sydney Supreme Court Justice Peter Johnson knocked back his bail variation application on Monday, just hours before his Etihad flight was scheduled to fly out of Australia.
Noting Whittaker would also be accompanied by two coaches and a training partner, Justice Johnson said Day's representatives had not demonstrated he couldn't perform his logistical duties remotely.
"It seems to me that the great bulk of the matters identified by the counsel for the applicant are things that are capable of being done in the modern commercial world by telephone or text messaging or other electronic means," he said.
"Negotiations with other managers of Mr Till ... likewise are capable of being done electronically."
Having booked flights to Abu Dhabi prior to his arrest, Day offered to provide a $100,000 surety and for his wife to hand over her passport until his scheduled return on July 28.
But Crown prosecutor Anthony Brookman argued Day was still a "flight risk," suggesting the court would be powerless to stop his wife joining him if he fled to a third country.
Citing 9000-plus active coronavirus cases in the UAE, Justice Johnson agreed the court ran the risk of losing Day due to unforeseeable travel complications arising from the "scourge" of COVID-19.
"The applicant is not asking to go to a safe and nearby location," Justice Johnson said.
"He wishes to travel to a part of the world where the COVID-19 pandemic is far more present.
"(It) adds a significant risk of non-appearance. There is a real risk the court may lose control of requiring his attendance in court.
"These are unusual circumstances, but the world is affected by unusual circumstances."