Now the jury has delivered a guilty verdict in his fraud trial, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) will be remembered as the scammer of a generation: crypto’s Bernie Madoff who embezzled millions of dollars from investors.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long for the high drama of the courtroom to make way for the detached judgment of history. For the man at the center of it all, however, there are still months of uncertainty ahead.
After receiving the jury’s guilty verdict, Judge Lewis Kaplan set Bankman-Fried’s sentencing for March 28, 2024.
And although SBF’s trial was in New York, he won’t be heading to the state penitentiary for his Federal crimes. Instead, he will likely head to one of over 70 Federal correctional institutes (FCI) that house male inmates around the country.
These low-medium security facilities differ greatly in their level of comfort and inmates’ quality of life. And while some are notorious for violence, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) is unlikely to want such a high-profile inmate staying anywhere too dangerous.
Considering SBF was previously living under house arrest at his family’s home in Palo Alto, a California prison like FCI Herlong seems the most likely destination for the former CEO.
As for negotiating less jail time or a better prison assignment, SBF’s lawyers could try to argue the case for special treatment due to SBF’s Asperger diagnosis which came up during his trial.
There is certainly precedent for judges taking autism spectrum disorders into account during sentencing. For example, in a 2017 survey of 21 California Superior Court judges, 15 stated that an autism diagnosis would be an important factor in sentencing.