The reason to lock him up now would be a to ensure he goes to his trial. Locking people up to punish them happens when they are guilty. Bail is denied only if there is a risk they will pose a significant danger or will not show up.
The US government is in talks to extradite him, but he (allegedly) committed crimes in the Bahamas as well. There are legal proceedings going on now about who gets first crack at him. The Bahamas are keeping him from leaving the island so him fleeing isn't a major risk.
It seems extremely likely he will end up in prison for decades. But it takes a while to prove the crimes to the court. Heck, they brought in the CEO who cleaned up the wake of Enron to try to get people their money back and the first thing he did was write a long letter tot he court about how they would need more time just to understand where their bank accounts were and how much money was in them because everything was so messed up records wise. The prosecutors need to be able to tell the jury specifics they are still gathering.
I would expect it to take less time than Skilling for three main reasons.
Enrons crimes were more legally dubious because they had followed accounting rules in a convoluted way. The end result wasn't legal, but the individual steps in isolation were arguable. So prosecutors had a daunting task. FTX seems to have flagrantly flaunted not just laws but even basic accounting.
Enron was a big hierarchy. Kind of like a mob trial, they got each lower level to turn on the next level. They had to prove the employees doing the actions weren't just rogues. Here, it's straight to SBF.
Skilling was smart enough to hide behind a lawyer and deny everything. SBF seems to be admitting to various aspects of the crime in conversations with journalists.
An added wrinkle is the Bahamas and the US (at least) want to try him. It might take time to figure out which tried him first. But I expect that's a fairly quick process.
If you are talking about his Vox interview over Twitter, he claimed every step was rational (he did not claim legal) in isolation.
But the details look different. He admits that FTX said they never invest the deposits. He then claims he loaned that money to Alameda who invested the deposits. That seems like an important pair of details. Those two things help combine with other facts to build the legal case. He also admits he didn't really lend them out to Alameda, probably because it evaded the margin limits.
Look, he's not running around saying "I ran a giant fraud". He may even think he did nothing wrong. But he is agreeing to some of the pieces prosecutors need to prove. Given FTX's bad records, just confirming basic facts is good for the prosecution.
This is the answer. You go to prison when you're convicted, which in this case, if it happens, could easily be 5 years out. But assuming OP really meant jail, if you go to jail you get bailed out unless you're a flight risk.
SBF is a flight risk, but I'm guessing the Bahamians have taken his passport and are watching him pretty closely, and I'm also guessing there are not a lot of non-extradition countries that would want him anyway. This guy isn't Edward Snowden; there's no dictator that needs that heat in exchange for whatever money he has left.
Probably more valuable to the prosecution right now to let him sit at home conducting dumb interviews where he admits to being a psycho, if not actual crimes.
No idea. I hope he survives long enough to stand trial because as I understand it, he is just one pawn in a much bigger game and some high profile officials stand to be embarrassed or possibly arrested assuming they are not untouchable. The pessimistic side of me does not expect any of that to occur but rather he falls victim to sleeping guards and broken cameras.
Here  is one theory being discussed in some circles but I would not expect anything to come of it.
The only thing I'm a little concerned about is Bankman possibly being a flight risk. He obviously has the money and connections to find a boat or private jet to flee somewhere where he can't be legally extradited and pay enough bribes to live comfortably on stolen money for the rest of his days.
That said, I think it's probably better to have an air-tight case rather than risking some legal screwup on an ultra-complicated fraud case that would probably take weeks/months for an investigator to really begin to understand the full details of.
> The only thing I'm a little concerned about is Bankman possibly being a flight risk. He obviously has the money and connections to find a boat or private jet to flee somewhere where he can't be legally extradited and pay enough bribes to live comfortably on stolen money for the rest of his days.
You give SBF too much credit to pull off something like this for the rest of his life.
The federal government is most likely investigating and needs time to bring charges. Watching and waiting gives them time to gain witness cooperation and obtain evidence to bring the strongest charges possible.
The Feds have probably already interviewed SBF and will make sure he does not flee. In the meantime, it’s much easier to let him dig his own grave. He’s already made numerous incrimating statements that simply would not have happened in a holding cell.
The Bahamas may also be planning to bring their own charges, though they are likely to let the US take him first.
I think you’ve nailed it. The people working this case are not amateurs, I’d guess they’re tracking his location and are trying to form an airtight case so whatever charges they decide on will actually stick.
SBF isn’t cash poor and is going to fight this with some very skilled, expensive lawyers. I think it’s totally for for the Feds to be taking their time, though I hope we see some movement soon.
I'm also struggling to understand. Maybe he actually didn't broke any law ?
After all, it's all a network of shell companies in banana republics, and maybe it was all in the small print ?
Like this little gem in Coinbase terms, mentioning that your crypto assets are not really yours in case of bankruptcy and can be considered as assets used to pay debts ? (don't remember the exact wording, but that's the idea).
A better question is why people gave / put so much money on an exchange run by kids through a net of shell companies in banana republics ?
Why people are still putting so much money in Binance ? Tether ? If they disappear tomorrow with all the money - will any law be broken ? I'm not so sure actually - they don't even have official headquaters ! It's red flags everywhere, and yet, once it's over people will sure be angry about loosing all their money.
It is amusing if not enlightening to watch all the LinkedIn profiles, Tweets and other online footprints being deleted as all those who dealt with him and supported this nonsense seek to erase that history.
A WSJ article suggested his Dad a tax law professor at Stanford was in tears at a restaurant in the Bahamas.
Justice is coming and his father knows it.
Nothing SBF does from now on will lessen his culpability, but perhaps his ongoing communications and actions might be used against him by those preparing the charges. All the better. He seems like a royal idiot.
Reasons why he could end up in jail before being convicted:
[ ] He's physically dangerous
[ ] He is likely to hide traces of his alleged crimes
[ ] He is likely to engage in witness tampering
[ ] He is likely to leave the country to a non-cooperating jurisdiction
[ ] He doesn't have powerful friends
Nitpick about “sending messages to employees”: he’s no longer CEO and therefore ‘employees’ are not beholden to execute his commands. Depending on the jurisdiction, this is somewhere between “freedom of expression” and “witness tampering”, and it would be in his best interest to STFU.