Sam Bankman-Fried gets 25 years — What happens now?

A federal judge sentenced former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried to 25 years behind bars for his multiple felony convictions, eliciting mixed reactions from many in and out of the crypto space.

On March 28, Judge Lewis Kaplan had some harsh words for Bankman-Fried before and after announcing consecutive sentences of 240 months and 60 months, totaling 25 years in prison. The judge compared SBF to a “thief,” said his attempts to promote regulation of crypto was “an act,” found he committed perjury and was “willing to flip a coin as to the continued existence of life on earth.”

How long and where will Sam Bankman-Fried be in prison?

The former FTX CEO has been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since August 2023, when Judge Kaplan revoked his bail for intimidating witnesses in the criminal case. A March 28 docket entry for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York suggested the judge would deduct time already spent in jail, meaning SBF would have a maximum of 291 months in prison — ending in 2048.

According to Judge Kaplan, Bankman-Fried will serve the remainder of his time behind bars at a medium- or low-security prison in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reports suggested possible locations, including the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Herlong and FCI Mendota. It was unclear which one would house the former FTX CEO at the time of publication.

Many reactions from social media following the March 28 hearing expressed doubt that Bankman-Fried would serve the entire sentence length. According to U.S. law, parole is no longer available for those sentenced to federal charges. However, inmates judged to have “good conduct” can receive 54 days off their sentence for each year served.

In Bankman-Fried’s case, that would mean a reduction of roughly 3.75 years: 21.25 years served in total and less than 21 years after sentencing — presumably ending in 2045. The former CEO, now 32 years old, could be in his mid-50s even if he is released early for good behavior.

Appealing the conviction

Before Judge Kaplan announced the 25-year sentence, Bankman-Fried attorney Marc Mukasey said his team intended to appeal the jury’s decision. The lawyers have 14 days to file the paperwork in court.

Many from the crypto space suggested that 25 years in prison was “too light” for Bankman-Fried, given the impact on FTX users. However, some seemed to be surprised at the sentencing hearing,

“I say this would apply to [Alex] Mashinsky as well: I hope that neither actually have to be in prison until the day they literally die,” said crypto influencer Tiffany Fong, who has provided many exclusives related to SBF’s case. “I personally wouldn’t have supported a 40- to 50-year sentence because I think that would basically be a life sentence for someone who’s 32 years old.”

Source: Tiffany Fong

Related: SBF memecoins pump and dump as FTX founder gets 25-year prison sentence

“That is an insanely lengthy prison sentence, and I’m not quite sure that he needs to be in prison for a quarter century,” said Ana Kasparian, a host on progressive media outlet The Young Turks. “25 years… I feel like that is the kind of prison sentence that you would save, or you would implement, toward a violent criminal who’s a threat to the public.”

What about the money?

The FTX bankruptcy case is ongoing in the District of Delaware, where debtors have submitted a possible plan to repay users based on prices at the time of the exchange’s collapse. Judge Kaplan also handed down an $11-billion forfeiture judgment as part of Bankman-Fried’s criminal case.

“This forfeiture is designed to make certain that if SBF ever makes money, it goes not to him but to the government and the victims,” said former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner, according to a March 29 CNN report. “He will never be able to accumulate funds in his life, and forfeiture cannot be eliminated through bankruptcy.”

Epner’s statement suggested that should Bankman-Fried start a successful business making millions of dollars after his release, the government could go after these funds. The same could apply to a sudden windfall, making it less likely SBF will ever achieve the same financial status he had before November 2022.

Magazine: ‘Less flashy’ Mashinsky set for less jail time than SBF: Inner City Press, X Hall of Flame

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