FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

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By journalsofus.com

New York (AP) – Crypto Entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried A man was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday for a massive fraud involving thousands of customers that was exposed with the collapse of FTX, one of the world’s most popular platforms for exchanging digital currencies.

US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan conducted a thorough analysis of Bankman-Fried and her crimes before announcing the sentence, which was half of what prosecutors had sought and less than a quarter of the 105 years recommended by court probation officers.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s name is being talked about a lot around the world at the moment,” Kaplan said of the 32-year-old who was one of the top crypto investors in the world before his business collapsed in November 2022. But it was visible. Customers, investors and lenders owed more than $11 billion, which the judge ordered him to seize.

it was convicted in november Of fraud and conspiracy – a dramatic fall from the pinnacle of success that included a Super Bowl ad and celebrity endorsements from stars such as quarterback Tom Brady, basketball star Stephen Curry and comedian Larry David.

Kaplan handed down the sentence in the same Manhattan courtroom where, four months earlier, Bankman-Fried had testified that his intention was not to steal, but to revolutionize the emerging cryptocurrency market with his innovative and philanthropic ideas. The judge said Bankman-Fried repeatedly committed perjury while lying on the witness stand.

Kaplan said this sentence indicates that “there is a risk that this person will be in a position to do something very bad in the future.” “And this is not a minor risk at all.” He further stated that this was “aimed at incapacitating him to the extent that could reasonably be expected for a significant period.”

Kaplan said he would recommend the Federal Bureau of Prisons to send Bankman-Fried to a medium-security prison near San Francisco because his notoriety, his association with vast wealth, his self-centeredness and social awkwardness make him particularly vulnerable to high-level incarceration. Can make you weak. Security feature.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ross recommended a prison sentence of 40 to 50 years, saying it was the only way to ensure “that the defendant does not do this again.”

“The defendants victimized thousands of people and companies over a period of several years, across multiple continents. He stole money from customers who entrusted him with money; He lied to investors; He sent fabricated documents to lenders; They poured millions of dollars of illegal donations into our political system; And he bribed foreign officials. “Each of these crimes deserves a lengthy sentence,” prosecutors said in a petition filed with the court.

Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried misappropriated billions of dollars to fuel her quest for influence and dominance in the new industry, and had funds used illegally from FTX depositors to cover his expenses, which included purchasing luxury properties in the Caribbean, bribes to Chinese officials, and private jets.

Kaplan agreed with prosecutors Thursday that Bankman-Fried should not get leniency just because some investors and clients might get some of their losses back. He said customers lost about $8 billion, investors lost $1.7 billion and lenders lost $1.3 billion.

When given the chance to speak, Bankman-Fried stood up and apologized in a rambling statement, saying: “A lot of people feel really let down. And they were greatly disappointed. And I regret it. I am sorry for what happened at every level.

He further said, “My useful life is probably over. All this ended some time before my arrest.”

Bankman-Fried, wearing his khaki-colored prison uniform and shackles at his ankles, became briefly emotional as he spoke for about 20 minutes, expressing regret for “a lot of mistakes” but placing some of the blame on others. The trimmer look he displayed during the trial brought back his trademark messy and thick hair.

The judge later criticized those comments, saying he “never expressed a word of remorse for the terrible crimes he committed.”

Defense attorney Mark Mukasey said his client was misunderstood.

Mukasey said, “Sam was not a ruthless financial serial killer who went out every morning to hurt people.” “Sam Bankman-Fried does not make decisions with malice in his heart. He takes decisions with mathematics in his mind.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, friends and family requested leniency, saying he was unlikely to reoffend. He also said that FTX investors have largely gotten their money back – a claim disputed by bankruptcy lawyers, FTX and its creditors.

“Mr. Bankman-Fried is living a life of delusion,” wrote FTX CEO John Ray, who is cleaning up the bankrupt company. “The ‘business’ he left on November 11, 2022 was neither solvent nor Nor safe.”

Two weeks earlier, Mukasey had attacked the probation office’s recommendation of 105 years in prison, saying a sentence of that length would be “grotesque” and “barbaric.”

He urged the judge to sentence Bankman-Fried to five to 6 1/2 years in prison, which Mukasey called a fair reading of federal sentencing guidelines.

Bankman-Fried was worth billions of dollars on paper as the co-founder and CEO of FTX, which was at one time the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange.

FTX allows investors to purchase dozens of virtual currencies ranging from Bitcoin to more obscure currencies like Shiba Inu Coin. With billions of dollars of investors’ cash, Bankman-Fried took out a Super Bowl commercial to promote his business and purchased naming rights to an arena in Miami.

But Fall in cryptocurrency prices This impacted FTX and ultimately led to its collapse in 2022. FTX’s hedge fund affiliate, known as Alameda Research, had purchased billions of dollars worth of various crypto investments that were set to lose value significantly in 2022. Bankman-Fried tried to plug the holes in Alameda’s balance sheet with FTX client funds.

Three other people from Bankman-Freed’s inner circle pleaded guilty to related crimes and testified at her trial.

The biggest name of these three was Caroline Ellison, who was once Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend. Ellison described Bankman-Fried as a calculating individual who knew he was possibly committing a crime when directing the use of client funds. Two other lifelong friends of Bankman-Fried, Gary Wang and Nishad Singh, also testified that they felt they were directed by Bankman-Fried to commit fraud.

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