FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried receives 25-year prison sentence for fraud

The judge criticized Bankman-Fried's actions, highlighting brazenness and lack of apparent remorse

In a Manhattan federal court, Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of FTX, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for defrauding investors, customers, and lenders.

The sentence was delivered by US Judge Lewis Kaplan, following Bankman-Fried's trial last fall. Bankman-Fried, who once led one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, faced a potential 110-year sentence.

Prosecutors sought 40 to 50 years, while Bankman-Fried's defense requested a shorter term of six and a half years.

During the trial, Bankman-Fried expressed remorse, stating that the events at FTX “haunt” him and admitting to making “a lot of mistakes.” His defense sought to differentiate his actions from those of notorious fraudster Bernard Madoff, emphasizing that Bankman-Fried did not intend to cause harm and made decisions based on mathematical calculations rather than malice.

Madoff, a Wall Street financier, orchestrated the most extensive Ponzi scheme ever recorded. He died in prison in 2021, while serving a sentence of 150 years.

Yet, numerous individuals affected by FTX, some of whom claimed to have lost their entire life savings due to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange, sent letters urging Judge Kaplan to impose a severe sentence.

Judge Kaplan criticized Bankman-Fried's actions, highlighting the “brazenness” of his behavior and his lack of apparent remorse. The judge also referenced the billions of dollars allegedly stolen from FTX customers and questioned claims that victims would be fully repaid through the exchange's bankruptcy proceedings.

Bankman-Fried's downfall marks a stark contrast to his previous success as a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world. FTX collapsed in late 2022, leading to Bankman-Fried's arrest and subsequent trial. Prosecutors accused him of orchestrating a scheme to siphon customer funds for personal use, investments, and loan repayments.

Bankman-Fried's sentencing concludes the criminal proceedings against him, although he retains the option to appeal. Three other individuals implicated in the FTX scandal await their own sentencing after pleading guilty to related charges.

Earlier this week, ahead of Bankman-Fried’s sentencing, investors were actively betting on Polymarket regarding the potential duration of Sam Bankman-Fried's prison sentence, with wagers ranging from 20 to 50 years.

Nearly half a million dollars were collectively staked across various sentencing possibilities, reflecting the gravity of the charges against him.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.

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