On December 13, 2022, Bahamian authorities denied parole to Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, after he was charged by US lawmakers with eight counts of financial fraud.
As reported by Reuters, Bahamian Chief Magistrate JoyAnn Ferguson-Pratt denied Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers’ request for parole, citing a “great” risk of him becoming a fugitive.
Therefore, SBF, now inmate 1472, must spend Christmas in a Bahamian correctional facility, per Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt’s order, and stay there at least until February 8, 2023.
Sam Bankman-Fried Faces a 115-Year Prison Term
SBF faces a maximum sentence of 115 years in prison. The magnitude of the case is so large that it may vary depending on new evidence that comes to light against the defendant, Reuters reported.
Mark S. Cohen, one of SBF’s defense attorneys, said they are reviewing all of the fraud charges brought against SBF and the legal team hired by the defendant.
“Mr. Bankman-Fried is reviewing the charges with his legal team and considering all of his legal options”
His extradition hearing is set for February 8, 2023.
Sam Bankman Fried Conspired To Fraud
Merrick Garland, US Attorney General, said Sam Bankman-Fried conspired to defraud FTX customers and misappropriate their deposits for his personal benefit, making him liable for multiple charges, including money laundering and securities fraud.
“We allege that the defendant conspired to defraud customers by misappropriating their deposits; to defraud lenders; to commit securities fraud and money laundering; and to violate campaign finance laws,”
Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Sam Bankman-Fried donated “tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions” to both Democratic and Republican politicians with “money stolen from clients.” He further added that the FTX collapse was one of the “biggest financial frauds in American history.”
US Regulators to take strong action against SBF
Alexander N. Green, Member of the US House of Representatives from Texas’ 9th district, said during today’s hearing that many people were hurt by SBF, so they have a duty to “send a message” to those who want to harm others that the US will not tolerate such a thing.
He further added that he finds it hard to believe that they are dealing with “unknowing stupidity,” criticizing SBF’s different interviews and media appearances, conveying that he was not committing fraud but just being a poor manager.
As lawyers say, “ignorance of the law does not exempt from compliance,” so probably the ignorance that SBF has wanted to preach through its interviews regarding the use of funds of its users will not be able to be used in its favor in court.