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

sam-bankman-fried-sentenced-25-years-ftx
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FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by Judge Lewis Kaplan.

According to the sentencing, he will serve 20 years and another 60 months in prison.

Judge Kaplan also found Bankman-Fried guilty of obstruction of justice concerning his text to the former general counsel, which was labeled witness tampering. The judge also found Bankman-Fried’s claim that he did not know Alameda was using FTX’s customer funds false.

During the sentencing, one victim, Sunil Kavuri, took the stand and expressed how Bankman-Fried’s actions impacted him and others. Kavuri mentioned at least three individuals committed suicide because of FTX. 

Bankman-Fried also made statements before the sentencing, mentioning how a series of bad decisions ruined years of hard work from his colleagues. The FTX founder mentioned several colleagues by name and expressed their passion and enthusiasm for the company. Bankman-Fried also accepted that the liquidity crisis was partly his fault and that he knew Alameda wouldn’t have survived but thought FTX would have. 

“They threw themselves into it, then I threw all that away. It haunts me every day. I made a series of bad decisions. They weren’t selfish decisions.”

– Sam Bankman-Fried

Sam Bankman-Fried’s court proceedings

Last November, a federal jury in New York found Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of two fraud counts and five conspiracy charges. Since his conviction, Bankman-Fried has been detained at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center and lost bail privileges due to accusations of witness tampering.

Over the past few months, there have been significant debates between Bankman-Fried’s defense team and the U.S. Department of Justice attorneys regarding the severity of his punishment. The defense suggested a sentence no longer than six years, while prosecutors argued for 40 to 50 years, citing unparalleled greed and deceit in orchestrating an $8 billion fraud.

FTX’s collapse in November 2022 caused a ripple effect across the entire crypto industry. Reports from 52 customers submitted yesterday showed the severe mental impact it had on the victims.

Bankman-Fried and his associates intermingled the exchange’s funds with those of Alameda Research, a related hedge fund, using customer funds for personal gain. This led to an $8 billion financial gap, triggering the exchange’s downfall when numerous customers attempted to withdraw their cryptocurrency holdings.