Thursday, February 9, 2023

Former SEC Chair Talks SBF’s Options To Avoid Life In Prison

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The founder and former CEO of failed crypto exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), stirred controversy one more time. Following his extradition from the Bahamas to the United States, the crypto company founder was released into the custody of his parents.

As Bitcoinist reported last week, SBF was granted a $250 million bail. When his family posted their house as collateral, the former FTX was allowed to await trial under house arrest. The FTX founder was allegedly involved in a scheme that cost his clients over $8 billion in losses.

In that sense, the U.S. court’s leniency and the fact that SBF’s parents supposedly failed to meet the criteria to make bail raised several concerns regarding the legal process. Across social media, users expressed their concerns and distrust about the case against Bankman-Fried.

If You Were SBF, What Would You Do?

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton addressed recent events and tried to provide his perspective on the case. Clayton heavily critiqued crypto and digital assets during his time leading the regulators.

Before stepping down, the SEC launched an action against payment company Ripple for allegedly offering unregistered securities, XRP tokens. Upon leaving the Commission, Clayton shifted his perspective and joined several pro-crypto projects and companies.

About the SBF and the FTX case, the former SEC Chair emphasized that the priority should recover clients’ funds. Many individuals and institutions placed their trust in Bankman-Fried and company and were left “holding the bag” Clayton said the following about the possibility that the legal process is “a sham deal”:

I don’t think it’s a sham deal; you have experienced federal prosecutors and federal judges all weighing in on this. You don’t see any real complaints from the experienced community. I think this part of the story will fade away.

SBF tried to fight the extradition process from the Bahamas. The FTX founder spent weeks in one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. Still, according to several reports, he received “special treatment” and privileges that other prisoners are denied.

Despite recent events, Clayton believes people should focus on prosecutors having a suspect in custody and evidence to defend their case. On the $250 million bail, the former SEC boss claims the court tries to discourage suspects and their families from avoiding the legal process.

About SBF’s possibilities and his future choices, about whether a life sentence in prison is the “answer,” Clayton took the FTX former CEO’s point of view. He said:

All of these things will be the subject of negotiation if there is a plea arrangement. Like you said before, there is a ton of considerations that are going to go into this (political, legal, financial, etc.). I think there will be tremendous pressure to reach a resolution (…).

BTC’s price moving sideways on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT Tradingview

As of this writing, Bitcoin trades at $16,600 with sideways movement on high timeframes. Chart from Tradingview.

Numisteamone

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