Home Editor's Pick Disturbing and Unjust: SBF’s Lawyers Slam DOJ’s “Medieval” 50-Year Sentence Recommendation

Disturbing and Unjust: SBF’s Lawyers Slam DOJ’s “Medieval” 50-Year Sentence Recommendation


Lawyers representing Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX, have strongly criticized the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed 40-50 year prison sentence for the embattled founder.

In a recent letter to District Judge Lewis Kaplan, SBF’s defense team argued that the lengthy sentence recommendation is “disturbing” and fails to accurately represent their client’s character and intentions.


Lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) argue that the proposed 40-50 year sentence is excessive and portrays him unfairly as a “depraved super-villain.”
The defense claims that SBF tried to help resolve FTX’s bankruptcy but was “rebuffed” by bankruptcy managers, and they provide additional documents to support this.
SBF’s lawyers assert that he poses no risk of recidivism and that the lengthy sentence ignores his vulnerabilities and health conditions in prison.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has urged the judge to impose a 40-50 year sentence, arguing that SBF was greedy and his efforts to resolve FTX’s bankruptcy didn’t help.
Judge Lewis Kaplan will consider letters from SBF’s family, former FTX employees, customers, and others when deciding on the sentence on March 28.

The defense’s pushback comes in response to the DOJ’s sentencing memorandum, filed last week, which portrayed SBF as a greedy and malicious actor whose efforts to resolve FTX’s bankruptcy were insufficient. Prosecutors have urged Judge Kaplan to impose a sentence of 40-50 years, citing victim impact statements from FTX customers and other supporting evidence.

However, SBF’s lawyers, Marc Mukasey and Torrey Young, claim that the DOJ’s memorandum “distorts reality” and “casts Sam as a depraved super-villain.” They argue that the proposed sentence adopts a “medieval view of punishment” and amounts to a “death-in-prison sentencing recommendation,” which they believe is far from justice.

Screenshot from letter to Judge Kaplan, Taken from CoinTelegraph

In their letter, the defense team presents several arguments to justify a reduced sentence for SBF. They claim that there were no actual losses, as the bankruptcy proceedings would result in all customers and lenders being made whole, with assets remaining in the estate.

They dispute the prosecution’s portrayal of SBF as driven by greed and a desire to maximize personal wealth, highlighting his philanthropic efforts and supposedly modest lifestyle.

The lawyers also assert that SBF poses no risk of recidivism, citing research on low recidivism rates for white-collar, educated offenders without prior records. They accuse the prosecution of making unsupported claims and misrepresenting sentencing data for comparable fraud cases.

To bolster their case, SBF’s defense team has provided additional documents, including drafts of potential public statements and messages exchanged with former FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller. These documents aim to demonstrate SBF’s genuine efforts to address FTX’s bankruptcy issues and his lack of intent to commit further crimes.

The defense argues that SBF has already lost nearly everything in his personal and professional life due to the collapse of FTX and that a sentence of approximately 5-6.5 years would be more appropriate.

They claim that the DOJ’s proposed sentence ignores SBF’s vulnerabilities and health conditions in prison and that such a lengthy term would be unfair to the 32-year-old, who still has a future outside of court.

As the sentencing date approaches, Judge Kaplan will have to weigh the arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution, as well as letters from SBF’s family, former FTX employees, customers, and others.

The stark contrast between the proposed sentences – 6.5 years by the defense and 40-50 years by the DOJ – highlights the complexity of the case and the differing perspectives on SBF’s actions and their consequences.

The post Disturbing and Unjust: SBF’s Lawyers Slam DOJ’s “Medieval” 50-Year Sentence Recommendation appeared first on Blockonomi.

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