Crypto-Fraud: What’s Next for Convicted FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried?

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at the US Federal Court in New York for a hearing on February 16, 2023.  As he awaits trial, the disgraced former CEO is defending himself in the court of public opinion.  -AFP
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried arrives at the US Federal Court in New York for a hearing on February 16, 2023. As he awaits trial, the disgraced former CEO is defending himself in the court of public opinion. -AFP

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted on Thursday of defrauding the cryptocurrency exchange’s customers out of billions of dollars.

Here’s what comes next for Bankman-Fried:

When will Bankman-Fried be sentenced?

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan scheduled Bankman-Fried’s sentencing for March 28, 2024. Bankman-Fried could face decades in prison.

Kaplan will sentence Bankman-Fried based on several factors, including her personal history and the nature of the crime.

In refusing to release Bankman-Freed from jail to prepare for trial, Kaplan said she potentially faced a “very long sentence.”

Kaplan wrote in a 2007 article that “crimes committed by white-collar criminals are particularly reprehensible, based on studied calculations of the potential costs and benefits of engaging in criminal behavior.”

Is this the end of the matter?

Prosecutors’ case against Bankman-Freed is far from over.

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to go on trial in March on charges of conspiring to pay $40 million in bribes to Chinese officials and making more than 300 illegal political donations to the US.

Will Bankman-Fried appeal?

Bankman-Fried may ask the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review her conviction, as well as rulings made against her before and during her trial.

Kaplan partially barred Bankman-Fried from testifying before the jury that the lawyers were involved in aspects of FTX’s business.

Bankman-Freed’s lawyers requested an acquittal during the trial, arguing that prosecutors failed to prove their case. Kaplan declined the offer. Her attorney Mark Cohen said after Bankman-Fried’s sentencing that his client “will continue to vigorously fight the charges.”

Will Bankman-Fried remain in jail now?

Bankman-Fried has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since August 11, when Kaplan found that she had tampered with witnesses at least twice.

He is likely to remain there until his sentencing.

What about FTX clients?

Former clients of the exchange are expected to receive at least 90% of the available funds recovered in bankruptcy under the temporary settlement. FTX is expected to include the deal in its next proposed bankruptcy plan in December.

FTX has amassed over $7 billion in assets so far and is attempting to acquire more assets through lawsuits against former trading partners.

Kaplan may also order Bankman-Fried to pay restitution to the victims when she is sentenced.

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