Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction is all over the news. Here is my video on the topic.
While the crimes SBF was convicted of bear jail time of up to 110 years, his sentencing is not scheduled until March 28, 2024, which is after his next federal trial is scheduled, on March 11, 2024. The next trial promises to be even more of a circus than the recent one, given it will involve allegations of bribery and campaign finance violations, not to mention bank fraud and securities fraud. So, it’s still unclear whether the second trial will go forward–prosecutors have until February 1, 2024 to decide–and if he is convicted, whether the first sentencing will be delayed so the two sentencings will be done together.
In the US federal system, judges are required to abide by sentencing guidelines. The crimes SBF was convicted of this week can carry a penalty of 7-10 years each. A federal judge has some leeway, including to order sentences for multiple counts to be served concurrently or serially. The guidelines allow the judge to take into account demonstration of remorse–which in SBF’s case seems non-existent. However, the guidelines for sentencing of fraud also take into account the amount of the fraud, and subsection 2B1.1(b)(1) of the guidelines only goes up to $550 million. So basically, SBF’s fraud is more than the guidelines ever anticipated possible. That means the judge might make an exception to go above the guidelines. SBF’s prospects are dire indeed.
Also, there is no parole in the federal system, though inmates can earn what is called “good time credit,” and as a result, federal prisoners tend to serve about 85% of their sentence. So by the time SBF gets out of prison, he will be a lot older, and with luck, wiser. But if he is convicted of additional crimes, he may be bouncing from one jail to another.
Once SBF is behind bars, we will probably get lots of marriage proposals–and VC term sheets.