Sam Bankman-Fried Unlikely to Serve 25-Year Sentence

Sam Bankman-Fried was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in defrauding users of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX. While this sentence certainly seems harsh, and many commentators are stressing that the harm caused to investors was immense, several important federal sentencing statutes and programs will operate to significantly reduce the amount of time that Bankman-Fried actually spends in jail.

Under the First Step Act, Bankman-Fried will be able to receive “earned time credits” that will likely make him eligible for release from prison after serving 12.5 years. Under this act, inmates, like Bankman-Fried, who are convicted of qualifying fraud offenses and who complete “productive activities” can be eligible for pre-release custody (for example, home detention) at the halfway point of a sentence. The Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) encourages inmate participation in these “productive activities” because they reduce recidivism.

Additionally, federal inmates can earn a reduction in their sentence if they are eligible for and complete the “Residential Drug Abuse Program” or “RDAP.”  The RDAP program is the BOP’s most intensive treatment program in which inmates participate in half-day programming and half-day work, school, or vocational activities lasting nine months. If an inmate successfully completes the RDAP program, they can receive up to a one-year reduction of their prison sentence. In Bankman-Fried’s case, he would receive a one-year reduction of sentence if he completes the RDAP program.

The reality is that Bankman-Fried will not serve his entire 25-year federal sentence. He will only serve about 11.5-12.5 years in jail.

This same sentence reduction system applies to many other federal offenses in addition to fraud crimes, and an experienced federal criminal defense attorney can ensure that a client is in the best position to benefit from these programs.  An experienced federal defense attorney can greatly reduce a client’s prison sentence by maximizing the client’s ability to benefit from the BOP’s sentence reduction programs.

Attorneys at Silverman Thompson have extensive experience helping clients navigate through the federal criminal justice system and can help you or your loved one. We can be reached 24 hours a day at (800) 385-2243 and where you can request to speak with me, Andrew C. White, about your case.

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