Explainer: Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction – what’s next?

By Jody Godoy

(Reuters) – FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted on Thursday of orchestrating a multibillion dollar fraud on the cryptocurrency exchange’s customers.

Here’s what comes next for Bankman-Fried:

When will Bankman-Fried be sentenced?

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan set Bankman-Fried’s sentencing for March 28, 2024.

Bankman-Fried could face decades in prison.

Kaplan will sentence Bankman-Fried based on several factors, including his personal history and the nature of the crime.

In denying Bankman-Fried’s release from jail to prepare for trial, Kaplan said he could potentially face a “very long sentence.”

Kaplan wrote in a 2007 article about corporate crime that “crimes committed by white collar criminals out of a studied calculation of likely costs and benefits of engaging in the criminal behavior perhaps are especially reprehensible.”

Is this the end of the case?

Prosecutors’ case against Bankman-Fried is not over.

Bankman-Fried is scheduled to stand trial in March on charges of paying a $40 million bribe to Chinese officials and conspiring to make more than 300 illegal political donations in the U.S.

Will Bankman-Fried appeal?

Bankman-Fried is likely to ask the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review his conviction, as well as rulings against him before and during the trial.

Kaplan partly blocked Bankman-Fried from testifying to the jury that lawyers were involved in aspects of FTX’s business.

Bankman-Fried’s attorneys moved for acquittal during the trial, arguing prosecutors had failed to prove their case. Kaplan denied the motion. His lawyer Mark Cohen said following Bankman-Fried’s conviction that his client would continue to “vigorously fight the charges.”

Will Bankman-Fried stay in jail for now?

Bankman-Fried has been detained in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center since Aug. 11, when Kaplan found he likely tampered with witnesses at least twice.

He is likely to remain there until sentencing.

What about FTX customers?

Former customers of the exchange are expected to eventually receive at least 90% of the available funds recovered in the bankruptcy under a tentative settlement. FTX is expected to include the deal in its next proposed bankruptcy plan in December.

FTX has recovered over $7 billion in assets so far and is attempting to claw back more through lawsuits against former business partners.

Kaplan may also order Bankman-Fried to pay restitution to victims at sentencing.

(Reporting by Jody Godoy and Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis)