Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Bitfinsider
Former prosecutor Renato Mariotti of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section of the US Justice Department recently offered his opinion on how long Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) sentence might be. According to Mariotti, the former CEO might be imprisoned for 25 years.
While Bankman-Fried’s crimes have a statutory maximum term of about 115 years, Mariotti notes in a recent report that the federal sentencing guidelines are an important point of reference.
These guidelines generate a more reasonable sentence range by considering a number of criteria, including the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history of the defendant. SBF’s conduct throughout the trial and the severity of the offenses mean that the punishment guidelines will probably be “sky high.”
The former DOJ prosecutor emphasizes that the judge’s decision about the defendant’s ultimate punishment must take into account all relevant factors surrounding the offense. This covers elements such as regret, compliance with law enforcement, and the effect of the offenses on the victims. Given the severity of the scam, Mariotti speculates that Judge Kaplan would feel more compassion for the victims than for Bankman-Fried.
Kevin J. O’Brien, a former assistant United States attorney who practices white-collar criminal defense in New York City, concurred, stating, “I believe his sentence will be in the 15 to 20-year range since judges have discretion even under the Guidelines.”
However, given the seriousness of Bankman-Fried’s misdeeds, Yesha Yadav, an associate dean at Vanderbilt University and law professor, noted that the jury’s overwhelming verdict will give Judge Kaplan the confidence to impose a more severe sentence rather than a moderate one.
Some experts note that even with the seriousness of his offenses, SBF is still relatively young and has time to have a good impact while he is still alive. SBF’s financial offenses, in contrast to violent ones, could sway the judge’s verdict.
The prospect of a second trial with different allegations in March 2024 is a wild card in this case. The Department of Justice must make a decision on whether to pursue this second case by February 1. Should they be found guilty in this second trial, the SBF term could be increased even further.
At this point, it’s unknown what penalties will be given down to Gary Wang and Caroline Ellison, two witnesses whose testimony at the trial strengthened the DOJ’s case against Bankman-Fried.
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