The former FTX CEO is headed back to prison and awaits a potential second trial in March, while his lawyers pledged to “continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.“
Sam Bankman-Fried is back in his New York federal prison cell after being found guilty of all seven charges in his criminal trial. His lawyers, however, say the fight isn’t yet over.
Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Mark Cohen, said in a Nov. 2 statement that Bankman-Fried “maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.“
If Bankman-Fried follows through, then he may appeal after being sentenced. The first step would see the FTX co-founder file a notice of appeal in the New York district court where he was just found guilty.
STATEMENT FROM THE TEAM OF SAM BANKMAN-FRIED —
“We respect the jury’s decision. But we are very disappointed with the result. Mr. Bankman Fried maintains his innocence and will continue to vigorously fight the charges against him.” pic.twitter.com/Q69w6nKB34
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) November 3, 2023
Bankman-Fried was hit with a guilty verdict by the jury on Nov. 2. United States Attorney Damian Willaims called Bankman-Fried one of the biggest financial fraudsters in American history and the perpetrator of “a multibillion-dollar scheme designed to make him the king of crypto.“
Bankman-Fried faces the possibility of another criminal trial slated for March 11 on five charges of bribery conspiracy, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, bank fraud conspiracy, and derivatives and securities fraud.
U.S. district court Judge Lewis Kaplan gave government prosecutors a Feb. 1, 2024, deadline to confirm if they will still pursue the second trial.
If that goes ahead, Bankman-Fried can plead guilty, which could help reduce his sentence.
As for the recent guilty verdict, prosecutors will recommend a sentence by March 15, with Bankman-Fried returning to court for sentencing on March 28, 2024.
Kaplan, however, will have the final say on how much time Bankman-Fried will serve. If Bankman-Fried served the maximum sentences for his crimes back-to-back, he would be in jail for 110 years.
Kaplan, however, could instead decide that Bankman-Fried will serve his sentence concurrently. If so, his wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy crimes each carry a maximum 20-year sentence.
The former federal prosecutor turned crypto venture capitalist Kathryn Haun said in a Nov. 2 X (formerly Twitter) post that she thinks Bankman-Fried will likely spend “decades in prison.”
Now that SBF has been found guilty on all counts, people are asking what sentence he may get. I think the answer is likely decades in prison. People confuse the statutory maximum sentence (the max a judge is allowed to give) with the sentencing guidelines recommended sentence… pic.twitter.com/C7Tn81A7xh
— Kathryn Haun (@katie_haun) November 3, 2023
In the meantime, Bankman-Fried will stay in jail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he’s been incarcerated since Aug. 11 after breaking his bail conditions.
Kaplan previously said the Brooklyn jail was “not on anybody’s list of five-star facilities,” and during Bankman-Fried’s time there before the trial, he complained about his lack of access to medication and vegan food.
Related: How long could Sam Bankman-Fried go to jail for? Crypto lawyers weigh in
In September, a week before the start of Bankman-Fried’s trial, lawyers gave mixed predictions as to how long his sentence would be.
Loevy & Loevy partner Michael Kanovitz said if Bankman-Fried was found guilty, “I think he will get the maximum sentence.”
Hogan & Hogan partner Jeremy Hogan predicted Bankman-Fried may not have the book thrown at him and get the maximum 110-year sentence, but he’ll be “going to prison for quite some time.”
“I don’t know enough about it to get into details,” Hogan said. “Just a long time — more than 10 years.”
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