April 19, 2024
Sam Bankman-Fried Gets 25-Year Prison Sentence
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Sam Bankman-Fried Gets 25-Year Prison Sentence

Following a sentencing hearing in federal court, former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York handed down the sentence on March 28, imposing a total of 240 months and 60 months for seven felony charges.

Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, the parents of Sam Bankman-Fried, arriving at federal court in Manhattan on Thursday.Credit…Brittainy Newman for The New York Times

Judge’s Ruling and Sentencing Details

Judge Kaplan’s decision came after finding Bankman-Fried guilty of witness tampering and perjury, stemming from events related to the collapse of FTX and Alameda Research in November 2022. Despite acknowledging Bankman-Fried’s “social awkwardness,” Judge Kaplan emphasized the severity of the crimes and noted Bankman-Fried’s evasive behavior during trial proceedings.

Mr. Bankman-Fried, center, with Gisele Bündchen, right, at a crypto conference in Nassau, Bahamas, in 2022.Credit…Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

Furthermore, the judge suggested an $11-billion judgment in addition to the prison sentence, citing substantial losses incurred by FTX investors, lenders, and customers. According to Judge Kaplan, FTX investors lost $1.7 billion, lenders lost $1.3 billion, and customers lost $8 billion as a result of the collapse. The judge added:

“A fortuitous run-up in the value of some cryptocurrencies bears no relation to the gravity of the crimes that were committed. A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully bets is not entitled to a sentencing reduction.”

Courtroom Proceedings and Testimony

Inner City Press reporter Matthew Lee described a packed courtroom, where Bankman-Fried appeared wearing the uniform of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he has been held since bail revocation. Testimony from Sunil Kavuri, a U.K. national affected by the FTX collapse, highlighted the impact on victims and challenged assertions of minimal loss.

Sam Bankman-Fried is escorted out of court in Nassau, Image: Sky News

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos criticized Bankman-Fried for failing to accept responsibility, emphasizing the lack of remorse from the former CEO. Judge Kaplan’s sentencing aligned with neither the defense’s nor the prosecution’s recommendations, reflecting a compromise between the two sides’ arguments.

Case Developments and Future Proceedings

Four other individuals associated with FTX and Alameda faced charges in the same case as Bankman-Fried. Gary Wang, Caroline Ellison, Nishad Singh, and Ryan Salame have pleaded guilty and accepted deals. Salame, in particular, is scheduled for sentencing on May 1, following Bankman-Fried’s trial.

The sentencing of Bankman-Fried and developments in related cases mark significant milestones in the legal proceedings surrounding the collapse of FTX and Alameda. As the legal process unfolds, the repercussions of these events reverberate through the cryptocurrency community and the broader financial landscape.

Photo by Kindel Media

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