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In Federal Court, Sentencing Experience Does [also] Matter

Yesterday in a federal courtroom in California, FTX founder and purported “Crypto-King,” Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), was sentenced by Judge Lewis Kaplan to 25 years in federal prison because of his convictions after a jury trial last year on multiple counts, including defrauding investors and lenders to his Crypto firm, Almeida Research. While less than the 40-50 years sentence sought by federal prosecutors, and significantly less than the 150 yrs. disgraced financier Bernard Madoff received for defrauding investors through an elaborate Ponzi-scheme, the 25 years he did receive is not-insubstantial for a 32-year-old first-time offender, whose attorneys had asked for a sentence of “no more than” 6 years. (Under the US Sentencing Guidelines, with established fraud losses exceeding $10B, SBF was likely looking at an advisory sentencing range of 30 yrs. – life, when all applicable sentencing enhancements were applied.) While federal parole was abolished nearly forty (40) years ago, like most federally sentenced inmates, SBF is likely to serve less than the 25 years he received yesterday. First, credit for the time he has served between when his bail was revoked back in August 2023 and yesterday will be applied to his overall sentence. Second, he will be eligible to receive 54 days good time-credit for each year he does serve, after he has served 12 months. Third, he will be eligible for release to home or community confinement (half-way house) at the lesser of 6 months or 10% of his sentence left to serve. Offsets like these mean that federal inmates, on average, wind up serving 85% of their sentence in full. However, good-time credits can be significantly increased and accelerated by successful participation and completion of Bureau of Prisons (BOP) programming such as the 500 hours Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP). Moreover, early release for overcrowding, compassionate reasons, and through the First Step Act are also possible.

When facing federal charges, it is critical for your attorney to be intimately familiar with, and experienced in, all phases of federal criminal defense practice, including the extremely complex and nuanced aspects of federal sentencing. Former state and federal prosecutor, Brad Bailey, has been actively practicing in federal court for over five (5) decades. His experience with all types of federal criminal cases (charges) and matters is unparalleled.

CALL BRAD NOW AT 617-500-0252

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