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SBF’s Lawyers Fire Back Against DOJ’s Harsh Sentencing Bid of 40-50 Years

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In its letter to District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday, the legal team behind the disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has contested the sentencing recommendation put forth by the Department of Justice last week.

The US prosecutors had previously proposed a prison term of 40 to 50 years for the former FTX CEO, but the lawyers deemed the memorandum “disturbing.”

SBF Lawyers Cry ‘Not Justice’

In a letter submitted on March 19th, SBF’s lawyers argued that the memorandum portrays a distorted version of reality, unfairly painting the fallen exec as a “supervillain” figure with exaggerated and unfounded motives.

They have also criticized the memorandum for making extreme predictions about SBF’s future behavior and advocating for an excessively harsh punishment that equates to a lifetime behind bars, which they argue is unjust.

“Hellbent on portraying Sam as a monster, the government makes repeated references to his “unmatched greed” and his supposed ruthless desire to maximize his personal wealth. This is a simple, seductive narrative. It is also a false one. The word “greed” was never uttered by any trial witness. And the government snubs the people who have known Sam for years and tout his selflessness.”

The lawyers further went on to assert that individuals like SBF, who have no prior criminal record, are least likely to commit further offenses. They argue that the severity of the offense itself is not indicative of a higher likelihood of re-offending.

Additionally, they highlight research indicating that individuals with higher levels of education, such as a college degree, are less prone to “recidivism,” implying that the background of SBF, who was convicted of fraud and other charges last year, supports a lower risk of repeating criminal behavior.

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Historic Fraud Case

Bankman-Fried was convicted by a New York jury last year for deceiving investors of FTX and Alameda Research in November. The charges include two instances of wire fraud, two instances of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, one count of commodities fraud conspiracy, and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

The defense team had urged a US court to consider a sentence ranging from 63 to 78 months, criticizing the pre-sentence report’s proposed 100-year sentence as extreme.

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