Crypto users weigh in on Sam Bankman-Fried’s prison time ahead of sentencing memo

The NFT Unicorn b72b1eb3-a8ee-445c-9d8d-26a4898984bd Crypto users weigh in on Sam Bankman-Fried’s prison time ahead of sentencing memo Crypto News

Lawyers representing Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried are expected to submit their sentencing recommendation for the former FTX CEO on Feb. 27, and crypto users have thoughts.

On Nov. 3, a jury convicted Bankman-Fried of seven felony counts, some carrying a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Judge Lewis Kaplan will receive sentencing recommendations from SBF’s lawyers on Feb. 27 and prosecutors on March 15 and will decide the fate of the former FTX CEO.

SBF’s conviction on two counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy could land the former CEO in prison for roughly 110 years if given the maximum sentence. However, as many lawyers and former prosecutors have pointed out following Bankman-Fried’s conviction, judges are unlikely to impose the maximum penalty except in extraordinary circumstances.

Renato Mariotti, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Section, reportedly said in December he “wouldn’t be surprised if SBF spends the next 20 or 25 years of his life in prison.” Lawyer Devin James Stone, who runs a YouTube channel called LegalEagle, also weighed in after Bankman-Fried’s conviction.

“[T]he main factors are the scale of the crimes and the amounts stolen and the criminal history of the defendant,” said Stone in a Nov. 14 video. “Bankman-Fried doesn’t have a criminal history, but the sheer scale of the fraud was obviously huge, and he lied and tried to cover everything up, so realistically, Judge Kaplan could sentence him to 15 to 25 years in prison plus restitution.”

Bankman-Fried was initially scheduled for a second criminal trial in March to address five additional charges, but prosecutors announced they did not intend to proceed in December. The filing suggested that SBF could be looking at a harsher sentence with forfeiture and restitution for FTX victims, given the government is willing to forgo trying him again.

“[T]rial on the Additional Counts would feature much of the same evidence that was presented at the initial trial,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a Dec. 29 filing. “And, importantly, a second trial would not affect the United States Sentencing Guidelines range for the defendant, because the Court can already consider all of this conduct as relevant conduct when sentencing him for the counts that he was found guilty of at the initial trial.”

Source: X

“Scumbag doesn’t deserve life, but if he doesn’t get sentenced to a minimum of 20 years I would be surprised,” said X user Batsy in a Feb. 27 post referring to Bankman-Fried. “Gary Wang has kept a low profile but he is just as guilty as SBF, should get equal time. Caroline Ellison should be getting minimum of 5 years.”

Related: What’s next for the ‘crypto king’ Sam Bankman-Fried?

The former FTX CEO last appeared in court on Feb. 21, when he waived conflicts of interest for attorneys representing him and former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky. Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen, who represented SBF at his criminal trial, withdrew from the case before the sentencing hearing.

Bankman-Fried will be the first to face a judge for sentencing among the four other former FTX executives tied to the same docket. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder Gary Wang, former FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame and former FTX engineering director Nishad Singh all pleaded guilty. Salame is scheduled to be sentenced on May 1.

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