SBF lawyers slam ‘death-in-prison’ sentence proposal citing lack of losses

Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF) lawyers have heavily criticized the Department of Justice’s sentencing memorandum in a March 19 letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan.

In the letter, the lawyers described the DOJ’s proposed maximum sentence of 50 years imprisonment for SBF as “disturbing” and “with marked hostility.”

According to the lawyers:

“The memorandum distorts reality to support its precious “loss” narrative and casts Sam as a depraved super-villain; it attributes to him dark and megalomaniacal motives that fly in the face of the record; it makes apocalyptic prophecies of recidivism; and it adopts a medieval view of punishment to reach what amounts to a death-in-prison sentencing recommendation.”

They further argued that the government’s memorandum completely ignores SBF’s condition and vulnerabilities, adding that the proposed sentencing was the government’s attempt to “break Sam Bankman-Fried” as there has been no “federal defendant convicted of a non-violent offense who served a 40-50 year sentence and was released.”

Reduced sentencing

SBF’s legal team presented a series of arguments to advocate for a reduced sentence for him.

Firstly, they contended that there were no tangible losses since the bankruptcy proceedings would ensure full restitution to all customers and lenders.

The lawyers wrote:

“There were never losses. The money has always been available. Assets remain. Each victim quoted in the government’s opposition will receive 100 cents on the dollar — plus interest. This would be impossible if the estate’s assets had disappeared into Sam’s personal pockets.”

Furthermore, they rebutted the prosecution’s portrayal of Bankman-Fried as being motivated by greed. They highlighted his philanthropic endeavors, pointing out that SBF had given his earnings away before creating the failed crypto entities FTX and Alameda Research.

Moreover, they challenged the government’s assertion that Bankman-Fried posed a significant risk of re-offending, citing research indicating low rates of recidivism among white-collar, educated individuals with clean prior records.

“Offenders with no criminal history, like Sam, are the least likely to re-offend. Nor does offense level predict recidivism. And offenders with a college education are less likely to recidivate,” they concluded.

As such, they proposed a reduced sentence of a maximum of 78 months, equivalent to 6.5 years, for their client.

Mentioned in this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *