Less than a year ago, Sam Bankman-Fried lived in the Bahamas, renowned as a crypto sensation leading a celebrity-backed firm. Surrounded by admirers, he was hailed as a mathematical genius from MIT, a visionary who diverged from Wall Street to create his unique path, and a philanthropist amassing wealth with intentions of generous giving.
However, things quickly changed as the FTX empire collapsed in November 2022. Now, some days into his trial, Bankman-Fried’s possible sentencing is starting to take shape.
“Your client in the event of conviction could be looking at a very long sentence,” US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said to the defense team during a Sam Bankman-Fried most recent hearing. The judge also stated, “if things start to look bleak… maybe the time would come when he would seek to flee.”
Bankman-Fried was previously under house arrest, but in August his bail was withdrawn, and he was sent to jail. The attorneys for SBF said in their plea for a temporary release that the matter was “very technical and sophisticated, and we require our client to help us understand the facts and clarify many of the difficulties.
Only he is aware of the facts, which are essential to his defense preparation.
Bankman-Fried, was detained in August after a federal judge in New York revoked his bail on the grounds that he had attempted to sway witnesses who would testify against him at a trial that was scheduled to begin in less than two months.
CCN spoke to the legal crypto expert David Lesperance from Lesperance & Associates, who said:
“The presumed defense will argue about Sam’s alleged medication usage and it could be a good argument or not, depending on whether the jury accepts it for reasonable doubt or whether the judge accepted for mitigation on sentencing.”
“I would anticipate that the defense would for with kind of the ultimate question. Here’s the pros, here’s the cons of Sam, you know, what have I got to lose versus it’s gonna be their assessment of, you know, AAA risk-return here.”
Lesperance also told CCN he assumes the sentence would be around “10 to 15 years”.
Still, Lesperance asserted that all will depend on the judge’s last call.
This would take the young entrepreneur to be in his mid-40s when he is released, based on Lesperance’s assumption — not too old to leave his ambitions of running another empire behind.