In a recent court filing dated Dec. 20, it has been revealed that former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been denied his request for an adjourned sentencing hearing. Bankman-Fried, who had hoped for a postponement of four to six additional weeks, would have seen his sentencing date pushed into May 2024. However, this request has been denied, and his sentencing date remains set for March 28, 2024.
The Legal Defense Argument
Bankman-Fried’s legal team argued that they needed more time to gather the necessary materials for the sentencing submission and to adequately prepare for an upcoming pre-sentencing interview on Dec. 21. Additionally, they contended that the sentencing process should not commence until other charges omitted from Bankman-Fried’s earlier trial are resolved. These charges include allegations of foreign bribery and campaign finance violations and are scheduled for a trial on March 11, 2024.
However, Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Bankman-Fried’s request, noting that he had already been granted one extension previously. This previous request, approved on Nov. 18, allowed Bankman-Fried more time to file sentence submissions. Judge Kaplan emphasized that the current sentencing date was established without objection from the defendant. He further highlighted that Bankman-Fried had ample time of over six weeks to prepare for the scheduled pre-sentencing interview on Thursday.
The Conviction and Possible Sentence
It is essential to remember that Bankman-Fried was convicted on Nov. 2 on all counts related to fraud and other crimes at FTX and its sister company, Alameda Research. Despite facing a potential maximum sentence of 110 years in prison, legal experts anticipate a considerably shorter sentence. Some estimates even suggest that Bankman-Fried may serve less than 25 years in prison.
It is worth noting that four other former executives at FTX and related companies have also pleaded guilty to charges brought by U.S. prosecutors. While these executives entered into plea deals with the hope of receiving lenient or no sentencing, their agreements only partially account for the possibility of sentencing. Currently, only FTX DM co-CEO Ryan Salame has a known sentencing date, which is scheduled for March 6, 2024.
Though Bankman-Fried’s request for an adjourned sentencing hearing has been denied, the upcoming trial regarding the omitted charges and the subsequent sentencing will shape the CEO’s future. The legal battle, along with the public opinion surrounding the case, will ultimately determine the magnitude of the sentence Sam Bankman-Fried will face. As the proceedings unfold, the world will closely watch how this high-profile case progresses and the implications it may have for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.