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Judge Sentences Sam Bankman-Fried to 25 Years in Jail

Judge Sentences Sam Bankman-Fried to 25 Years in Jail

Julia Smith

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| 2 min read

Sam Bankman-Fried, prison, FTX

Source: Adobe / Александр Поташев

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison and an $11.02 billion fine, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled in Manhattan federal courthouse Thursday morning.

SBF’s Fraud Was A Game, Judge Rules

Kaplan likened Bankman-Fried’s theft of nearly $8 billion in customer funds to “a game,” where he weighed “the cost of getting caught against the probability of not getting caught.”

“That was his game,” Kaplan said. “It’s in his nature.”

Bankman-Fried was convicted on seven fraud charges in November 2023 after a whirlwind trial that saw the FTX founder testify in his own defense.

In Thursday morning’s ruling, Kaplan called Bankman-Fried’s defense “misleading, logically flawed, and speculative,” saying he had never seen anything like his testimony throughout his entire career

He further analogized the FTX founder’s defense to “a thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas” that believed was “entitled to a discount on stolen winnings” once they were made whole.

“He knew it was wrong,” Kaplan continued. “He knew it was criminal. He regrets making a bad bet against the likelihood of getting caught – and he’s not going to admit a thing.”

Bankman-Fried Apologizes, But Is He Truly Sorry?

A visibly thinner Bankman-Fried was escorted into the courtroom by two security guards in a beige jumpsuit, his hair still in its signature curly mop.

“I know a lot of people feel let down,” Bankman-Fried told the court. “I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about everything that happened at every stage.”

He went on to apologize to his FTX colleagues, his brother Gabe, and those impacted by the exchange’s collapse, claiming that it “haunts” him everyday and causes him “excruciating guilt.” However,he doubled down on his claim that the exchange “always” had enough assets.

Bankman-Fried’s new lawyer, Marc Mukasey, largely tried to deflect from his client’s image as a “monster” to that of a seemingly awkward math nerd who was well-meaning but ultimately flawed.

“SBF doesn’t make decisions with malice in his heart,” Mukasey said. “He makes decisions with math in his head.”

This logic came back to hurt his client when Kaplan claimed that same cost-benfit mindset presented “a not trivial risk” for the crypto frudster to execute another scheme.

He further claimed Bankman-Fried’s push for crypto regulation during his time as FTX’s CEO was “all an act,” claiming the fraudster wanted “to be a hugely, hugely influential figure in this country.”

What’s Next For The FTX Founder

Bankman-Fried was facing a total maximum penalty of 110 years in prison, with prosecutors pushing for upwards of 40 years for the former “king of crypto.”

Meanwhile, the defense requested a maximum penalty of six years in prison for their client.

Kaplan has ordered Bankman-Fried to be placed in a medium security prison without eligibility for parole. He is currently being at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY.


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