Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried may not receive a maximum sentence, CNBC said Nov. 4, citing statements from former government prosecutors.
Renato Mariotti, a former prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice, predicted that Bankman-Fried would spend 20 to 25 years in prison. In contrast, the maximum possible sentence against Bankman-Fried is generally set between 110 and 115 years.
Mariotti suggested that two decades is nonetheless a harsh sentence. He noted that Bankman-Fried committed “immense” fraud through FTX and allegedly lied on the witness stand. Mariotti said Judge Lewis Kaplan will likely have more sympathy for the victims than Bankman-Fried when it comes time to impose a sentence.
In a statement to CNBC, Mariotti said:
“The federal sentencing guidelines will likely be very high, but they are just that…the judge is required to consider all of the circumstances surrounding SBF and his offense.”
Another former prosecutor, former Assistant United States Attorney Kevin J. O’Brien, provided a similar estimate. He suggested that Bankman-Fried’s sentence would likely be “in the range of 15 to 20 years” because judges have discretion in sentencing. O’Brien also suggested that Bankman-Fried’s relatively young age might lead Judge Kaplan to give her a chance at life after prison. The former CEO of FTX is 31 years old.
These experts did not comment on other possible clemency measures, such as the possibility of Bankman-Fried serving part of his sentence under house arrest, or the possibility that the months he has already spent in prison could be taken into account. in his pain.
Others expect a harsher sentence
Another legal expert suggested Bankman-Fried could face a much harsher sentence. Yesha Yadav, a law professor and associate dean at Vanderbilt University, said Bankman-Fried’s sentence could be much closer to the maximum sentence of 110 years.
Yadav pointed to various factors that could prolong the sentence, such as the number of customers harmed, the scale of the fraud in monetary value, the severity of the damages and the fact that jurors reached a unanimous decision on guilt relatively quickly by Bankman-Fried. He nevertheless admitted that Bankman-Fried’s youth and the fact that the former executive’s crimes were not violent in nature could reduce the sentence.
A separate Forbes report cites Jared Carter, a professor at Epner and Vermont Law Schools, as another legal expert who expects a lengthy sentence. Carter said he would be surprised if Bankman-Fried received less than 25 years in prison.
Bankman-Fried also faces a second trial on charges related to U.S. campaign finance and bribing Chinese officials, which could potentially extend his sentence.
The former executive was found guilty of all seven current charges, primarily related to FTX fraud, on November 2. He will receive his sentence on March 28, 2024.