Judge Denies SBF’s Request for Delays Ahead of Sentencing Interview

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Key takeaways:

  • Sam Bankman-Fried requested a four- to six-week extension of his sentence hearing, but Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed his motion.
  • The government has not yet stated if it would move on with a second trial on the withdrawn charges against SBF.

Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of FTX, requested a four- to six-week extension of his sentence hearing, but Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed his motion. 

The motion, which was submitted on December 20, would have caused a delay in both the sentencing hearing, which is currently set for March 28, 2024, and his presentencing interview, which was scheduled for December 21.

Attorney Mark Cohen of Cohen & Gresser submitted the motion in writing to the judge overseeing SBF’s trial at the Southern New York United States District Court. According to Cohen, the defense requires further time to get ready for the sentencing hearing.

Furthermore, the government has not yet stated if it would move on with a second trial on the withdrawn charges against SBF. 

However, disclosures for the presentence investigation report are planned for January 5, 2024, and February 2, 2024. Because those five counts were not included in the initial indictment that led to SBF’s extradition from the Bahamas, he objected to them.

There may be a separate presentence investigation report and sentencing hearing following the March 11, 2024, trial on the severed charges, according to Cohen. Cohen went on to say:

“For fairness and efficiency, the Court should consider the relevant conduct all at once in a single sentencing hearing.”

Cohen said that the defense had reached out to the government to get its approval but had not heard back as of yet. Additionally, he made note of the fact that this was SBF’s first request to adjourn the hearing.

Kaplan was not amenable to timetable modifications. Kaplan noted that the defense had not objected to the sentencing date when it was established and that SBF had previously been granted one extension to file her sentencing submissions.

If the government decides to move forward with a trial on the dropped charges, SBF will have the opportunity to submit a fresh request for adjournment, the court stated.

On November 7, SBF was found guilty on seven counts: two counts of wire fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count each of securities fraud, commodities fraud, and money laundering. 

Following the jury’s decision, SBF continued to assert his innocence while entering a not-guilty plea to all charges.

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