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Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Multi-Billion Dollar FTX Fraud

Nearly two years since the implosion of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and former CEO of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Bankman-Fried has also been ordered to pay $11 billion in restitution for his role in one of the largest financial fraud cases in the history of the US.

SBF’s Sentencing

Crypto’s golden boy Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been slapped with a 25-year jail sentence.

The sentence was announced by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York at the Manhattan federal court earlier today, ending a months-long sentencing process that started shortly after SBF was convicted on seven criminal counts of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy.

Judge Kaplan indicated that SBF committed witness tampering based on the occurrences that forced him to revoke bail in August 2023 and perjury throughout his trial testimony over FTX customer money. He noted Bankman-Fried’s “social awkwardness” but stated that, based on the testimony of former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison, Bankman-Fried knew he was at fault but never offered “a word of remorse for commission of terrible crimes.”

The judge dismissed the defense’s previous assertions that there was no real loss to victims, positing that SBF’s declaration “that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading, it is logically flawed, it is speculative.”

U.S. prosecutors had sought a harsher sentence of up to 50 years due to the sheer scale of the financial losses incurred by FTX customers, while his attorneys argued the figure should be no more than six and a half years. Judge Kaplan also fined SBF $11 billion in addition to the prison time. He said investors lost $1.7 billion, Alameda Research lenders lost $1.3 billion, and FTX customers lost $8 billion.

From Crypto Star To Prison

It came to light in November 2022 that FTX, which was once valued at $32 billion in its heyday, was unable to account for $8 billion of customer funds, sparking a quick and unprecedented unravelling of the exchange — ultimately leading to FTX, Alameda, and the firms’ different subsidiaries declaring bankruptcy.

The once-prominent crypto exchange CEO pleaded not guilty to all charges levied against him and went to trial at the start of October. SBF was the first to be sentenced among the four other former FTX executives charged in the same case. Ex-Alameda boss Caroline Ellison, FTX co-founder and former CTO Gary Wang, and former FTX head of engineering Nishad Singh all pleaded guilty and testified against Bankman-Fried during the trial. 

That said, SBF is set to call prison home at least until he turns 51 years old. However, the former billionaire wunderkind of the cryptoverse wants to appeal his conviction following the sentencing, according to his defense team. 

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