SBF’s guilty: What’s next?

Bankman-Fried faces a maximum of 115 years in prison

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty of seven charges including fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering on Thursday.

His trial, which began in October, ended after a four-hour deliberation by the jury. 

The verdict came a year to the day CoinDesk published Alameda’s balance sheet

Mark Cohen, a lawyer for Bankman-Fried said, “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.”

Meanwhile, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, said “…Here’s the thing: The cryptocurrency industry might be new. The players like Sam Bankman-Fried might be new. But this kind of fraud, this kind of corruption is as old as time, and we have no patience for it.”

Read more: Sam Bankman-Fried found guilty by jury in landmark crypto trial

Following the reading of the verdict, Bankman-Fried gave a small smile to his parents as he was led away. Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried were embracing. Bankman had his head in his hands, resting on his knees as he leaned over. Fried held her head in her hands for a few minutes before covering her face.

Bankman-Fried’s sentencing hearing is set for March 28. 

His team has until Feb. 27 to submit related paperwork ahead of sentencing. The defense has until March 15. 

Judge Lewis Kaplan gave the defense until Nov. 20 to file post-trial motions, while prosecutors have until Dec. 11. The final day for both sets of lawyers to file any replies to those motions will be Dec. 18.

Finally, the US government needs to tell Judge Kaplan if it will pursue the five additional charges it filed against Bankman-Fried. 

Those include the campaign finance charges. While donations came up during former FTX engineer Nishad Singh’s testimony, Judge Kaplan was careful to note to the jury that the fraud charges were the only ones Bankman-Fried faced during his October trial.

Bankman-Fried’s initial December 2022 indictment from the US Department of Justice included a campaign finance charge. However, the Bahamas declined to extradite Bankman-Fried on the charge. In August, the DOJ filed a new indictment against the former FTX CEO, alleging that he donated roughly $100 million to politicians.

Bankman-Fried, in late August, pleaded not guilty to the new charges

In total, Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison. It’s unclear at this time if Kaplan will seek to impose the maximum penalty.

Casey Wagner contributed reporting.


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