SAM BANKMAN-FRIED CONVICTED ON ALL 7 COUNTS
FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty after fewer than eight hours
By: Zack Guzman
November 3, 2023
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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted on all seven charges Thursday, cementing what is now officially one of the largest criminal frauds in history.
Jurors delivered their verdict after less than five hours of deliberation, convicting the MIT graduate on multiple counts of conspiracy, fraud, and a single count of money laundering.
Judge Lewis Kaplan set Bankman-Fried's sentencing for March 28, 2024. It's expected that SBF's defense attorneys, who objected to several rulings by Judge Kaplan before and throughout the trial, will appeal the verdict.
GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES:
WIRE FRAUD ON CUSTOMERS (FTX)
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD (FTX)
WIRE FRAUD (LENDERS TO ALAMEDA)
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT SECURITIES FRAUD
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT COMMODITIES FRAUD
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MONEY LAUNDERING
Bernie Madoff's former prosecutor Marc Litt told Coinage Thursday before the ruling was delivered that there are more than a few issues that might be appeal-worthy in the way the trial was handled.
"[Judge Kaplan] seemed to leave open some appellate issues that needn't have been left open," Litt said, highlighting that they excluded a lot of evidence the defense had tried to include in the trial. "And judges often, in my experience, will save prosecutors from themselves and say, 'I hear you, but I'm going to let it in.' ... They're going to let some stuff in at the margin that maybe technically they could exclude, but they want to save themselves from from having to hear this case again."
It's worth noting Sam's legal team had earlier appealed Judge Kaplan's prior ruling to detain SBF on suspected witness tampering to no avail.
SBF faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison and is also slated to go begin a second trial next year to face a second set of charges, including foreign bribery and bank fraud conspiracies.
Contrary to popular belief, SBF's sentencing might not be any easier after difficult exchanges with Judge Kaplan during trial.
"I don't think he's better off for having gone to trial and having testified," Litt said. "If the judge thinks you lied, that increases again under the sentencing guidelines. What your sentence, what the advisory sentence is going to be. And as a practical matter, it affects the judge."