Judge Kaplan Rejects Bankman-Fried's Request for Sentencing Delay, Affirms March 2024 Date

In a recent development in the high-profile case of Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX, a request for postponement of the sentencing hearing was firmly denied by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. Bankman-Fried’s legal team had sought a four to six-week adjournment, citing the need for additional preparation time. However, the court’s refusal to grant this extension marks a significant moment in this ongoing legal saga.

Sam Bankman-Fried Sentencing Date Proceeds as Kaplan Denies Delay

The defense, representing Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), submitted a formal request for the adjournment of the sentencing hearing, originally scheduled for March 28, 2024. This plea was grounded in the defense’s requirement for more time to gather necessary materials and prepare adequately for the upcoming presentence interview. The defense emphasized the importance of this additional time for a thorough and fair preparation process.

“The defense requires the additional time to collect materials necessary for the sentencing submission and to prepare for the presentence interview,” the letter from Cohen & Gresser LLP’s Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell details.

Furthermore, SBF’s defense highlighted the issue of unresolved counts in the indictment, scheduled for trial on March 11, 2024. They argued that proceeding with the sentencing on the current counts, without resolving the severed counts, could lead to procedural complications and inefficiencies. This situation, they contended, warranted a delay in the sentencing process.

In their communication, SBF’s lawyers articulated concerns over the potential for a separate presentence investigation report (PSR) and an additional sentencing hearing. They emphasized the need for fairness and efficiency, suggesting that all relevant conduct be considered in a single, comprehensive sentencing hearing.

Accordingly, the defense proposed a new timeline, requesting that the sentencing hearing be postponed to an early to mid-May 2024 date. This adjustment would also entail corresponding shifts in the dates for the first and second disclosures of the PSR, aligning with the proposed new schedule for the sentencing hearing.

The request for a delay is reflective of the complex nature of SBF’s case, which involves multiple charges and intricate financial dealings. The defense’s argument for postponement was rooted in the premise of ensuring a fair and complete evaluation of all factors involved in the case.

However, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, overseeing SBF criminal fraud case, denied the request for the adjournment. The denial signifies the court’s intent to proceed with the existing timeline, indicating the urgency and significance attributed to this case. Kaplan detailed that the defense did not initially object to the current date which led to the latest decision on Dec. 20, 2023.

The denial of the extension request marks a pivotal moment in SBF’s legal journey, setting the stage for the upcoming sentencing in March 2024. As the legal proceedings continue to unfold, the crypto community and the wider financial world remain closely attuned to the outcomes of this landmark case.

What do you think about Judge Kaplan rejecting SBF’s sentence delay request? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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