A Breakdown Of The Lonely Existence That Likely Awaits Sam Bankman-Fried
As we all know one of the big news stories of the last few weeks has been the arrest of FTX founder and all around scumbag Sam Bankman Fried.
I am not here to discuss finance or crypto. But I am here to discuss what's next for SBF and in my years of research, personal connections and knowledge of the federal prison system I found it important to understand what awaits him and how we get to that ending.
Currently he sits in a very bad place, a dirty and disgusting prison is the Bahamas. But it's very temporary. People like SBF aren't cut out for places like that let alone in a foreign country. Surprisingly the prison he's at now will likely be the worst place he ultimately sees. The extradition process will play out and could take awhile. However it looks like that fairly soon he will bend and be brought back to the United States. It's in his best interest to not fight it. He won't get any sort of bond here due to his flight risk status.
Upon his extradition, he will immediately go to one of two places which are holding centers for criminals with federal cases in the New York districts. Either The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan or the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He wants to go to MDC if possible. MDC is mostly full of lower level end drug dealers, gang members, celebrity type figures and will likely go to the 5th floor there.
He's a celebrity and likely won't face many issues. It won't be easy for someone like him but it's his life and he has to quickly adapt. While both are bad places, MCC is a grave place, the SHU (segregation) is among the worst in the country and is where Jeffrey Epstein "hung himself". Epstein was in 9 South which is for high profile risk type inmates. 10 South is where people like Chapo Guzman and John Gotti sat and you are under constant supervision and the goal is that 10 South people never interact with other inmates. It also houses some of the worst criminals awaiting trial in federal system out of New York City including terrorists. My guess is Bankman Fried goes to MDC in Brooklyn.
Now SBF could take a plea and we wouldn't have a trial but the thought is we will see a trial as Bankman Fried seems pretty dug in here. Below will happen if he's found guilty which as many know, the federal government very rarely lose.
For SBF this is all coming down to two very simple things, the federal prison sentencing system and the judges in the Southern District. They have your life in their hands and all have different reputations. There are 43 different judges in the Southern District and the choice of judge he will get is said to be random.
When a subject is sentenced, the federal government used a points system to determine and calculate the amount of time through the charges. Then they use this table to decipher how long the person will get in MONTHS. SBF will be in category 1 criminal history category with no criminal history.
But first you need to calculate the offenses he's committed through the charging guidelines and offenses for fraud. If you notice on the chart the number in bold to the far left is the amount calculated through various things that add up points wise from the below offense levels.
How you get to that number:
§2B1.1 - LARCENY, EMBEZZLEMENT, AND OTHER FORMS OF THEFT; OFFENSES INVOLVING STOLEN PROPERTY; PROPERTY DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION; FRAUD AND DECEIT; FORGERY; OFFENSES INVOLVING ALTERED OR COUNTERFEIT INSTRUMENTS OTHER THAN COUNTERFEIT BEARER OBLIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) 7, if (A) the defendant was convicted of an offense referenced to this guideline; and (B) that offense of conviction has a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years or more; or
(2) 6, otherwise.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) If the loss exceeded $6,500, increase the offense level as follows:
Loss (apply the greatest)Increase in Level
(A) $6,500 or less no increase (B) More than $6,500 add 2 (C) More than $15,000 add 4 (D) More than $40,000 add 6 (E) More than $95,000 add 8 (F) More than $150,000 add 10 (G) More than $250,000 add 12 (H) More than $550,000 add 14 (I) More than $1,500,000 add 16 (J) More than $3,500,000 add 18 (K) More than $9,500,000 add 20 (L) More than $25,000,000 add 22 (M) More than $65,000,000 add 24 (N) More than $150,000,000 add 26 (O) More than $250,000,000 add 28 (P) More than $550,000,000 add 30.
(2) (Apply the greatest) If the offense—
(A) (i) involved 10 or more victims; (ii) was committed through mass-marketing; or (iii) resulted in substantial financial hardship to one or more victims, increase by 2 levels;
(B) resulted in substantial financial hardship to five or more victims, increase by 4 levels; or
(C) resulted in substantial financial hardship to 25 or more victims, increase by 6 levels.
So if we're just looking at A & B, SBF has 37 points after getting 7 points straight out and would get 30 added on due his fraud being above 550 million. His fraud also effected 25 or more victims so add 6 more points. Just so anyone knows, anything above 40 points is 25 years or more. If we add 6 more, he's at 43, which means LIFE.
So for Bankman Fried just following this point system would have him into the mid 40's. 43 would mean life for him by the guidelines. This doesn't even include the stacking of other things involving what kind of people or businesses were affected etc which could be more and take him to 45 or 46. That said the judge can completely circumvent this and in the end is the guy or girl that can decide his future. They can also subtract a couple of points which is likely here after they decide that some of his points could be deemed doubled or something. They will then give him a sentence, whether it's the normal guidelines calculated, they cut it down or give him a month. The judges vary. Some are harsh, some are very nice. It's in the end up to them and the penalties for different people can vary. For SBF, this will all come down to the judge.
Generally if we're looking at fraudsters similar in the federal system, the most famous is Bernard Madoff who got LIFE. Bernie Madoff masterminded the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, ripping off thousands of people of as much as $65 billion dollars. Recently in 2021, a Swedish financier got 15 years in a 16 million dollar crypto scheme that was heard in California federal court. In late November, a Florida crypto scammer got 51 months, just over 4 years for a 100 million dollar fraud. It truly comes down to the judge and his leniency or harshness. It remains to be seen what happens next. Keep in mind, it's alleged Sam Bankman Fried stole up to 10 BILLION dollars and the Southern District will likely make an example of him.
That said Sam IS going to prison. My guess is for at least 20 years. He will attempt to do whatever he can to help himself the most and will probably get if it's my guess, 405 months… essentially 33 years from 41 points. Remember in the federal system you have to do 85 percent and that would mean 28 years, Bankman Fried is 30, so he'd be out in his late 50's. Remember that's just a guess. He would then be shipped off to federal prison.
The federal prison system is five levels.
-Minimum or a "camp"
-Low or an "FCI" (federal correctional institution)
-High or a "USP" (United States penitentiaries)
-ADMAX (there's only one) you would go there if you can't be deal with in any other facility, kill a guard, other inmates or are an incredibly high risk like Chapo Guzman, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or terrorist Ramzi Yousef etc.
Upon his sentencing he will be sent to federal prison somewhere in America. Likely with his counsel asking for Otisville, the best federal prison in America and the "softest". Otisville is a minimum or camp. They have different meal options, tennis and bocce courts, various libraries with dorm style living. It's likely he would never see a piece of violence there above a fist fight every few years. It is also very close to New York City and is easy to get to. That said it's up to the judge and with the length of time SBF is likely going to face he won't get Otisville. That said he will not ever be going to a high level place like a HIGH or anything. He will not face the level of punishment we may likely feel he should.
My guess is he will go to an FCI. Loretto in Western PA near Pittsburgh or probably Danbury which is in Connecticut. But that remains to be seen. In places like Danbury he will be around old gangsters, corrupt mayors, activists etc.
Sam Bankman Fried has an extremely boring existence ahead of him and it's gonna be a very long time until he breaths a breath of free air again, unless he gets an incredibly forgiving federal judge. He is in good with many politicians, my guess though is they will stay far away from him and maybe even look to make an example of him. He will need a lot of help from his family and people close to him. Federal prison for him won't be that bad though. He has a decent amount of money by standards and can survive by his status. Prisons like the one he's going to if you have a thousand a month you can do pretty well. Bernie Madoff in the end adapted to prison very well even creating schemes like cornering the hot chocolate market in a prison in North Carolina. Yes you read that right, it's a true story. He ran the prison commissary and also taught financial literacy classes and cozied up to mob bosses.
Sam Bankman Fried deserves far worse as a punishment IN MY OPINION. But the truth of the matter is he just won't get it. That said he's going to likely have a lot of time to think about his behavior. For him in the end, the several years of ballin in the Bahamas will be nowhere worth it.