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February 28, 2024

Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried in lengthy memo request "a sentence that returns Sam promptly to a productive role in society"

For a number of reasons, I always find white-collar sentencings to be fasciniating, and the scheduled sentencing next month of Sam Bankman-Fried is already fitting that characterization.  The latest development in the run-up to the March 28 sentencing comes in the form of SBF's lawyers submitting late yesterday this 90-page sentencing memo.  This document assails many aspects of how the probation office calculated the applicable guideline range and makes an array of arguments based on all the 3553(a) sentencing factors.  This lengthy document concludes with this paragraph that is titled "Sam Bankman-Fried's Sentencing Request":

Sam Bankman-Fried respectfully submits that, for the reasons set forth above, an appropriate method of arriving at a just sentence would be to consider the Adjusted Offense Level (Subtotal) of 56, reduced by 30 levels based on zero loss, which yields an advisory Guidelines range of 63-78 months.  When the § 3553(a) factors are considered, including Sam’s charitable works and demonstrated commitment to others, a sentence that returns Sam promptly to a productive role in society would be sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes of sentencing.

Here are a variety of press accounts of this sentencing filing and some related SBF activity:

From Business Insider, "Sam Bankman-Fried's lawyer says sentencing the FTX founder to a 100-year prison term would be 'grotesque' and 'barbaric'"

From CoinPedia, "SBF Fights for Crypto Fraud Leniency: 6 Years vs. 110?"

From the New York Times, "Sam Bankman-Fried Makes His Last Stand: Since the disgraced crypto mogul was convicted of fraud, his supporters have maneuvered to secure a lenient sentence, with his lawyers recommending he serve no longer than 6.5 years in prison"

From the Wall Street Journal, "Sam Bankman-Fried Calls for Shorter Prison Sentence, Citing Autism: Lawyers for the FTX founder say he wasn’t motivated by greed but by a desire to better the world through philanthropic giving"

Prior related posts:

February 28, 2024 at 08:53 AM | Permalink


NFW. The book should be thrown at him.

This is interesting: Biden's DOJ going after a journo? https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2024/02/28/the-fbi-wanted-a-reporter-to-surrender-over-his-january-6-coverage-n2635825

Posted by: federalist | Feb 28, 2024 10:06:27 AM

I am still expecting SBF to receive a sentence in the range of 40 to 50 years, given the billions of dollars involved in the crimes. There is a significant need to dissuade others in managerial positions at cryto-currency exchanges from doing what SBF did, and borrowing customer funds to make secret investments and political campaign contributions.

Posted by: Jim Gormley | Feb 28, 2024 11:25:48 AM

First of all - you can't have an adjusted offense level of 56 - you cap out at 43 - see Commentary to the Sentencing Table, Application Note 2.

Posted by: atomicfrog | Feb 28, 2024 1:56:01 PM

I agree with all three comments above. I also got a good laugh out of defense counsel's bit of pleasant fiction, in which his client "returns...promptly to a productive role in society" -- as if he'd ever had much of a role beyond being a breathtaking thief.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Feb 28, 2024 2:40:47 PM

I join with Mr. Otis regarding the prior postings. This scumbag-thief needs to be severely punished, incapacitated, and deterred from his criminal behaviors for at least the next thirty years, minimum. His was a far more egregious crime than say the possession of crack cocaine or the viewing (non-contact offense) of child abuse materials - both of which have in the past resulted in similar extended sentences. His crimes were carried out with the evil intent to inflict severe financial damage upon others. While certainly aware of the pain he caused his victims, he chose to ignore such considerations, proceeding to cavort with his criminal co-conspirators in his new-found illegally financed opulent lifestyle. His crimes shock the conscience and he is deserving of decades in custody.

Posted by: SG | Feb 28, 2024 3:55:53 PM

"At last, a thing we agree upon"

Posted by: federalist | Feb 29, 2024 12:29:01 PM

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