Sam Bankman-Fried Faces 110-Year Max Sentence After FTX Trial—Here’s How Long Experts Think He’ll Be Behind Bars
Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on all seven counts Thursday after a massive fraud and money laundering trial involving now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX and trading firm Alameda Research, charges that can lead to a maximum of 110 years in prison—and lawyers told Forbes he may face a decades-long sentence, unlike other white-collar defendants.
Most white-collar criminals whose maximum sentences could take up the rest of their lives end up only facing a small fraction of the maximum, with judges often basing their sentencing decisions on similar cases, Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor and member of the law firm Rottenberg Lipman Rich, told Forbes.
However, Epner said Lewis Kaplan, the Manhattan-based federal judge who presided over Bankman-Fried’s case, may decide to break the trend and give Bankman-Fried a majority of the 110-year maximum permitted by federal law when he’s sentenced next year—citing Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, who received a 150-year sentence in 2009.
Both Epner and Vermont Law School professor Jared Carter told Forbes they think Bankman-Fried will likely be sentenced to multiple decades in prison, with Epner adding he would be surprised if Bankman-Fried receives a sentence below 25 years.