SBF says proposed 50-year sentence casts him as ‘depraved super-villain’

The NFT Unicorn 97c1d85c-20c9-4546-911e-5f3d38ef04fa SBF says proposed 50-year sentence casts him as ‘depraved super-villain’ Crypto News

Lawyers representing former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried say that a proposed maximum sentence of 50 years in prison for the founder invokes a “medieval” view of punishment and doesn’t accurately reflect the severity of his crimes. 

On March 19, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young wrote to Judge Lewis Kaplan in response to the government’s sentencing proposal, handed down on March 15.

“With marked hostility, the memorandum distorts reality to support its precious ‘loss’ narrative and casts Sam as a depraved super-villain.”

On March 15, United States prosecutors filed additional documents alongside a sentencing memorandum that proposed a 40-to-50-year sentence for the former crypto billionaire, who was convicted on fraud and money laundering charges in November 2023.

The lawyers claimed the proposed sentence adopted “a medieval view of punishment to reach what amounts to a death-in-prison sentencing recommendation.”

“That is not justice,” they added and instead proposed a reduced sentence of five to six years in prison.

Screenshot from letter to Judge Kaplan. Source: Courtlistener

The lawyers made several arguments to justify a reduced sentence for Bankman-Fried.

They argued that there were no actual losses as the bankruptcy proceedings would result in all customers and lenders being made whole, with assets remaining in the estate.

Additionally, the lawyers argued that prosecutors falsely portrayed Bankman-Fried as greedy and driven by a desire to maximize personal wealth, contrasting this with his philanthropic efforts and supposedly modest lifestyle.

The pair also disputed the government’s claims that Bankman-Fried posed a high risk of re-offending, citing research on low recidivism rates for white-collar, educated offenders without prior records.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankruptcy narrative revealed in new court documents

Finally, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers accused the prosecution of making unsupported claims, which included allegations that Bankman-Fried shirked responsibility and misrepresented sentencing data for comparable fraud cases.

“We have yet to identify a federal defendant convicted of a non-violent offense who served a 40–50 year sentence and was released,” they said.

“Crushing Sam in this way is unnecessary.”

Mukasey and Young claimed that Bankman-Fried had already lost “nearly everyone and everything” in his personal and professional life and proposed a reduced sentence of approximately five to six and a half years.

“If the government truly believes that Sam deserves to ‘return to liberty,’ then a significant downward variance from the proper guidelines range of 63–78 months is called for.”

A jury trial concluded that SBF was guilty of all seven charges brought against him by the U.S. government, almost a year after the collapse of FTX.

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