Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX founder, sentenced to 25 years in prison in crypto

Former crypto mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for his role in the 2022 collapse of FTX, which once was one of the world’s most popular platforms for trading digital currency.

Bankman-Fried, 32, was convicted on seven charges in November related to fraud and conspiracy. A jury found that Bankman-Fried illegally used money from FTX depositors to cover his expenses, which included purchasing luxury properties in the Caribbean, private planes, significant U.S. political campaign contributions and alleged bribes to Chinese officials.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said the sentence reflected “that there is a risk that this man will be in position to do something very bad in the future. And it’s not a trivial risk at all.” He added that it was “for the purpose of disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done for a significant period of time.”

Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried had cost customers, investors and lenders over $10 billion US by misappropriating billions of dollars to fuel his quest for influence and dominance in the new industry.

The prison term represents a dramatic fall from a crest of success that included a Super Bowl advertisement and celebrity endorsements from stars like quarterback Tom Brady, basketball star Stephen Curry and comedian Larry David.

WATCH | Tracing the rise and fall of Bankman-Fried:

Sam Bankman-Fried: from FTX crypto king to convict | About That

Sam Bankman-Fried went from a nobody to the CEO of the multibillion-dollar crypto currency exchange FTX, then became a convicted felon in four short years. Andrew Chang explains the rise and fall of the crypto king.

Given a chance to speak, Bankman-Fried stood and apologized in a rambling statement, saying: “A lot of people feel really let down. And they were very let down. And I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about what happened at every stage.”

He added that, “My useful life is probably over. It’s been over for a while now, from before my arrest.”

‘A life of delusion’: current FTX CEO

Prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of 40 to 50 years. The defence was looking for a term of no longer than six years, arguing that FTX’s investors have largely recovered their funds — a claim disputed by bankruptcy lawyers, FTX and its creditors.

“Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to live a life of delusion,” John Ray, the CEO of FTX who has been cleaning up the bankrupt company, wrote in a court submission. “The ‘business’ he left on November 11, 2022 was neither solvent nor safe.”

LISTEN | Sam Bankman-Fried, The Naked Emperor (from 2023):

Front Burner26:24Front Burner Presents | The Naked Emperor | The Trial of Sam Bankman-Fried

Today we bring you a bonus episode of The Naked Emperor, our spinoff miniseries about the rise and fall of the crypto exchange FTX. As Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial kicks off in New York, host Jacob Silverman is back to bring you up to speed on the latest. What’s happened at the courthouse in the lead-up to the…

Read More: Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX founder, sentenced to 25 years in prison in crypto

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