Former Cryptocurrency Mogul Bankman-Fried Faces Historic Sentence

Former Cryptocurrency Mogul Bankman-Fried Faces Historic Sentence

New York prosecutor Damian Williams asks between forty-fifty years in prison for the founder and president of the cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX. A Manhattan jury found him guilty of seven charges that They include fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Known by the nickname “SBF,” he used platform clients’ deposits without consent to make risky transactions in his hedge fund, Alameda Research, and to purchase ostentatious real estate and political donations.



Billionaire before the age of 30, Bankman-Fried conquered the cryptocurrency world at breakneck speed, turning FTX, a small startup she co-founded in 2019, into the world’s second-largest exchange platform.

But in November 2022, the empire FTX imploded, unable to cope with massive withdrawal requests from customers terrified when they learned that some of the funds deposited with the company had been compromised in risky operations.

At the time of its bankruptcy filing, approximately $9 billion was missing.

The group’s liquidators have already recovered some $6.4 billion in cash and plan a full refund to affected customers.

They benefit from the brutal appreciation of cryptocurrencies, which have recovered after a catastrophic 2022 marked by several bankruptcies and the FTX scandal.

Catapulted by the flow of investors and the launch of a new investment product, the undisputed leader of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, has broken records since March.

Facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried, 32, attempted to portray a more humane “SBF,” rather than the image of the manipulator that emerged throughout the trial.

“Those who know Sam know that he is selfless, altruistic,” his defenders wrote in a document presented to federal Judge Lewis Kaplan before the hearing, along with dozens of letters of support from people close to him.

Those who know him “understand that his conduct ‘has never been motivated by greed or a thirst for prestige,'” his lawyers added, citing testimony to support his request.

The truth is that this former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student has never been accused of personal enrichment and kept most of his fortune in FTX shares, whose value evaporated.

During the trial, which lasted five weeks, his lawyers presented him as a young businessman overwhelmed by his workload and the victim of errors in judgment by his partners and employees.

To gain clemency from the federal magistrate, they also mentioned that he suffered from autism spectrum disorder, which, in their opinion, makes him “vulnerable within the inmate population.”

Based on these elements, the defense proposes a sentence of just over five to six and a half years in prison.

Since he was convicted, Sam Bankman-Fried changed his legal team and hired the services of Marc Mukasey, much more outgoing and offensive than the discreet Mark Cohen, his previous defender.

“In every aspect of his activity and for every crime committed, the defendant has shown an open lack of respect for the law,” Williams’ team of prosecutors insisted.

In the process, “SBF’s” defense was weakened by the testimonies of three former directors of FTX and Alameda, including his ex-girlfriend, who provided detailed evidence of the defendant’s main role in the fraud.

“He understood the rules, but decided they did not apply to him,” the prosecutor’s office insisted in a document sent to the judge, citing a “pernicious megalomania” and a “superiority complex.”

Source: Ambito

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