Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was the second-largest donor in the bid of Joseph “Joe” Biden for the US presidency in the previous election. Given the convicted Crypto King’s contribution to the incumbent head of the country, is there a possibility that he will be spared a get-out-of-jail card via a presidential pardon?
The 7-Count Conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried
The New York jury in the landmark trial of Sam Bankman-Fried has unanimously slapped a guilty verdict on all seven counts of fraud to cap off the lawsuits against the ex-CEO of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. These happened following less than five hours of deliberation.
There are reports, however, that the defense team is mulling on filing an appeal before Judge Lewis Kaplan’s gavel drops on March 28, 2024. The sentencing could see SBF potentially serving up to 115 years or a lifetime in jail. But then again, many people think that all efforts to overturn the decree of the jurors will be all for naught.
US President Joe Biden Paying Back the Favor
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bankman-Fried donated a sum of $5.2 million to the 2020 campaign of Joe Biden. That’s a chump change compared to the $10 billion that the cryptocurrency exchange head allegedly embezzled but it does make up around seven percent of the $79.5 million hauled by the campaign organizers of the now sitting president from his top 100 donors.
Being the second biggest donor during the bid of Biden for his first term, the crypto community is wary about the prospect of the administration to granting SBF a pardon. That’s if the POTUS survives the 2023 election, which could see him get an extended 4-year tenure.
Of course, people are divided on the matter. Should Biden win, one side expresses an all too assuring scenario that he will not spare the condemned crypto personality. The sound argument of this faction is grounded on the point that it would be political suicide for the serving president and his groomed successor to lay down such a controversial pronouncement.
The other end of the block doesn’t buy into such a guarantee, citing as an example recent historical events that witnessed Bill Clinton pardoning the “fugitive financier” Marc Rich before the end of his occupancy in the White House. The opposition says Biden might pull out the same dubious declaration in his last term.
End Notes: To Be or Not to Be
The extent of the US president’s unfettered power to forgive federal crimes is yet to be put to the test. So, even with the propensity of the offense perpetrated by Sam Bankman-Fried, which saw him bamboozle $10 billion from over a million FTX users, a presidential pardon remains one of the Aces that he can pull out of his sleeve.
There’s no assurance on the forthcoming sentiments of the majority regarding this subject as well as the result of the 2024 elections, but if the heat of SBF somehow miraculously dissipates five years after his sentencing, then he could possibly lobby for the forgiveness of his crime by the US Chief Executive. Then, the latter could either commute or pardon him depending on the prevailing political climate of that period. Otherwise, the fallen Crypto King may very well sit out the rest of his life behind bars.