Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison

The co-founder and former CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday.

With the hearing, a months-long sentencing process has come to an end, which started shortly after the Department of Justice had successfully argued in court that SBF had used FTX as his piggy bank.

The case

According to the DOJ, the one-time crypto wunderkind had siphoned off customer funds of more than $8 billion.

These had been used for funding a lavish lifestyle in the Bahamas, moonshot venture investments, and for paid sponsorships with celebrity athletes, such as Tom Brady, along with other expenses.

It had taken a jury less than five hours in November to find the disgraced crypto mogul guilty of seven counts of money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy.

This could have potentially led to a sentence of 110 years in prison. Bankman-Fried had parted ways with the attorneys who had led his defense during the trial.

There had also been a second trial planned against Bankman-Fried, which had been called off by the government weeks later for charges that had not been filed in the first.

The events

Since then, the Justice Department and Bankman-Fried’s new defense team have filed opposing briefs to Judge Kaplan.

In the said briefs, they have made arguments for vastly different sentences for the convicted criminal. His lawyers called a century-long sentence ‘grotesque’.

They argued that the former CEO would not be able to lead a meaningful life and would not be able to make contributions to the neediest in society.

Therefore, his lawyers proposed that his sentence be reduced to somewhere between five and seven years.

As far as the government is concerned, it asked the judge for a prison sentence between 40 and 50 years for Bankman-Fried.

It said that the sentence should highlight the serious nature of the harm that thousands of victims had had to suffer.

The government urged Kaplan to impose a sentence that would prevent SBF from committing fraud again and also send a message to others who might be thinking about engaging in financial misconduct.

The experts

While Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, it is unlikely that he will serve it in full.

According to a federal prison consultant, since his sentence is longer than a year, Bankman-Fried will automatically receive a sentence reduction of 15%.

This would translate into a reduction of 3.75 years, but it can be added back if the FTX founder gets into trouble during his incarceration.

However, other than this reduction, it is highly likely that he would have to serve the full extent of his remaining sentence of 21.25 years.

The federal prison stint of the former billionaire can only be reduced by a year or two, as there are only a handful of credit programs and exceptions.

Other prison systems in America do reduce sentences based on good behavior and other factors, but the federal prison system does not follow the same rules.