Sirwin
Sirwin

Will SBF ever do jail time?

By Invictus21 | Crypto Mademoiselle | 31 Oct 2023


Charges against Samuel Bankman-Fried:

Firstly, let me just say how ironic it is that part of Samuel's double barrel last name  has Bankman in it. Samuel Bankman-Friend, popularly known as SBF is now undergoing trial for one of the biggest Crypto platform annihilation trials of the century. He is in so deep, that the collapse of FTX also affected and bankrupted other "at-the time-above-board" Crypto platforms like BlockFi of which I was unfortunately also an investor. On that issue, we are currently awaiting the final sentence and hopefully, be able to recover our funds.

arrest

SBF arrested in Bahamas(2021). Image source:

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto exchange FTX, is currently on trial for multiple counts of fraud in connection with the collapse of FTX. The  exchange fell apart in November after users found they could not withdraw their billions of dollars worth of funds. So far, the money trail seems to suggest that the missing funds were swindled into a sibling company, Alameda Research. Now the story gets even more twisted as the Alameda Research was headed by SBF's ex-girlfriend and in an interview basically suggested that it's operation and management involved the use of basic school math! In technical terms Alameda  was used to bankroll high-risk crypto trades, venture bets, personal loans, political donations to the Democtaric party (buying politicians?), debt repayments and other expenses . To all this Bankman-Fried is charged with seven counts of fraud and money laundering .Detailed charges include wire fraud, conspiracies to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and campaign finance violations . If found guilty on  he could face in excess of 100 years in prison. But will he? the answer will lie in how amazing his high profile defence lawyers are to pull a Houdini-like move. As we watch the trial unfold, we can't help but feel the anger of investors as SBF raked in the help of powerful celebrities like Tom Brady and his wife in ads with a scam sounding repetitive phrase of " I'M IN" playing on average working class professionals to get into FTX with promises of early retirements. Other celebrities involved in promoting FTX and are being sued include Larry David and Stephen Curry, more info here. See video below:

The cross examination of Bankman-Fried

The cross-examination of SBF began on October 30th, and he has been accused of evading questions. In addition, his lawyers asked for him to be allowed to take medication during trial. Apparently, he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and takes Adderall to manage his symptoms. At first the sitting judge denied the request but later reversed and allowed it. SBF's lawyers argued that by taking the medication SBF could focus better and even understand the charges and evidence brought against him. The mounting evidence against SBF also comes from four members of Bankman-Fried’s inner circle at FTX, who have taken a plea bargain to testify against him. Some of the confessions have not been released, however there are now emails and wire transfers that the government is in possession of. His parents have also been dragged into the mess by getting sued as part of SBF's circle for acquiring luxury properties and offshore accounts.

mum

SBF's mum leaving court .Image source: cnbc.com

Factors than can bring a guilty verdict to SBF:

 

There is a joke that goes there are 3 types of lawyers: one who knows the law, another who knows the judge and the third who posseses the 2 attributes and can bite. Given the severity of the charges against SBF, we can truly say that he is well represented. His defence team is from the firm Cohen and Gresser, with Mark Cohen himself leading the defence. Mark Cohen is no stranger to white-collar criminal defense. He has successfully defended a number of high-profile clients, including Ghislaine Maxwel (Epstein case) and Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Here follows some of his recent high profile court victories:

  • In 2019, Cohen represented a former hedge fund analyst in an insider trading case where the analyst was accused of trading on non-public information that he had obtained from his employer.Cohen triumphed and the analyst was acquitted.
  • In 2020, Cohen represented a former investment banker in a securities fraud case where banker was accused of making false statements to investors about a hedge fund performance.  Cohen won and the banker was acquitted.
  • In 2021, Cohen represented a former CEO in a breach of fiduciary duty case where CEO was accused of using company funds for personal expenses. Cohen overcame and the CEO was acquitted.
  • In 2023, Cohen is representing SBF...

Will SBF finally go to jail?:

At this stage there are still a lot of open ends and there is a pandora box worth of surprises and shocks coming up. Whether SBF is sentenced to prison will depend on many factors. Above I discussed the skill and stealth of his defence lawyers and SBF still has access to funds to continue his defence exploting every legal loophole there is. On the other hand, if the government wants to make an example of him, then they will also pursue his conviction futher. Lastly, there is the last factor of evidence presented and shared by those who negotiated plea bargains...So, though he now seems like someone who needs medication to focus and calm his nerves, for a while he seemed like a capable and even genius Crypto wiz. He convinced lots of people and millions could have lost their life savings forever, due to his greed and fraudulent activities. Only time will tell, and all we hope for is JUSTICE.

This case shows that in Crypto, we should all be super cautious and put the brakes on the green monster when it pops its head promising quick cash schemes. Do your research and consult certified finance professionals.

In other news, I wrote about KuCoin  being named one of the Best Crypto Exchnages in 2023 by Forbes here.

Thumbnail image from:edition.cnn.com

TO SUPPORT MY WRITING:

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Invictus21
Invictus21

Blogger and bilingual in Spanish and English crypto enthusiast.


Crypto Mademoiselle
Crypto Mademoiselle

Here you will find articles to inform and educate regarding the opportunities and pitfalls in Crypto in general as well as specific case studies. As a relative newbie myself, I am starting to navigate this world with some confidence, though I will admit that I don´t know a ton. All in all, I follow the strict rule of doing my own DYOR and never investing MORE THAN I can afford to lose. If you are on the learning curve and are excired about the prospects of profiting while learning join me.

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