FTX founder gets 25 years for defrauding investors of $10 billion

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The judge questioned the remorse of the crypto king for "terrible crimes".

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for large-scale fraud and conspiracy that led to the collapse of his company and its associated hedge fund, Alameda Research. The sentence is significantly less than the 40-50 years required by federal prosecutors, but significantly longer than the 5-6.5 years proposed by Bankman-Fried's lawyers.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, sentencing 32-year-old Bankman-Fried, stressed the risk that the convict will be able to commit new crimes in the future, noting that the risk is not small at all. Kaplan also said that he did not hear a word of remorse from Bankman-Fried for committing "terrible crimes" and pointed out his "evasive" answers during the testimony.

Bankman-Fried, the founder of a company previously valued at $32 billion, was convicted on 7 criminal counts, including securities fraud, which resulted in a loss of about $10 billion. client funds. Prosecutors alleged that Bankman-Fried led a conspiracy to embezzle client funds for investment, political donations to both major U.S. parties, and personal use, as well as to repay loans taken out by Alameda Research.

Before sentencing, Bankman-Fried expressed regret, hinting that the loss of billions of dollars of customers was the result of a "liquidity crisis" or "mismanagement" and not fraud. He acknowledged his responsibility as CEO of FTX, while expressing the hope that customers will eventually get their funds back, despite accusations that the federal bankruptcy court is hesitant to return funds to customers.

Prosecutors and victims criticized Bankman-Fried, highlighting the enormous damage his actions have caused to clients around the world. Prosecutor Nicholas Roos described FTX's collapse not as a "liquidity crisis or an act of mismanagement", but as a "theft" of billions of dollars of client funds.

After the verdict, lawyer Merrick Garland made a statement, emphasizing that the Bankman-Fried case is one of the largest financial frauds in history, demonstrating a disregard for customer expectations and the rule of law. The Bankman-Fried family expressed regret over the verdict and expressed their intention to continue fighting.
 

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"Too Little": Community on Sam Bankman-Fried's deadline

On March 28, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was sentenced to 25 years in prison. However, even this term was considered soft by the crypto community.

Asymmetric's general partner, Dan Held, said the sentence was "not long enough, given his [SBF's] actions and the actual damage caused."

Breaking: SBF gets 25 years in prison.

Not nearly long enough given his actions, feelings around his actions, and actual damage caused.
— Dan Held (@danheld) March 28, 2024

Variant Foundation General Counsel Jake Czerwinski compared the sentences of SBF and Ross Ulbricht, who received two life sentences and 40 years for creating the darknet marketplace Silk Road.

If you're following all the news about SBF today, take one moment to reflect on Ross Ulbricht.

SBF got 25 years. That's a long time, but he'll get out and have a life left afterward.@RealRossU got two life sentences, plus 40 years.

This is not justice.https://t.co/nOnKQFkctx
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) March 28, 2024

"This is not justice," he wrote.

Former NSA and CIA employee Edward Snowden was surprised by the" soft " verdict against Bankman-Fried.

"Damn it, they gave him less for a much worse crime than Chelsea Manning,"Snowden noted .

Head of the Ethena Development Department.Labs Seraphim Checker drew parallels with the case of Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev, who faces up to five years in prison.

Doesn’t it drive you mad

SBF defrauds the whole world and gets 25 (will probs get out early)

Pertsev on trial for writing a smart contract and is treated the same way or worse
— Seraphim (@MacroMate8) March 28, 2024

"Doesn't it drive you crazy? SBF cheats the whole world and gets 25 (possibly released early). Pertsev is being sued for writing a smart contract, and he is being treated the same or worse, " added Checker.

The verdict to Bankman-Fried may be the end of an unfortunate era for the crypto industry, according to Michael Zilberberg, head of communications at Alt Tab Capital.:

"We are focused on the crypto market, and this test is the end of its sad chapter. Enron didn't mean that all energy markets were fraudulent, and [Bernard] Madoff wasn't an indicator of all hedge funds. We believe in the reliability of the cryptocurrency market and support the prosecution of intruders."

The influencer under the nickname 0xSisyphus emphasized that the term for SBF is "short", but still significantly longer than the time of existence of the crypto industry.

SBF’s sentencing time is “short” but still meaningfully longer than the amount of time the crypto industry has existed for
— Sisyphus (@0xSisyphus) March 28, 2024

Meme tokens with Sam

Before and after the SBF verdict, the market was flooded with a wave of themed meme tokens.

The Sam Baseman Fraud coin launched a few hours before the trial in the Base L2 decision with the FTX ticker increased by 23,300% in less than a day-to a peak of $0.0145. However, the asset later corrected to $0.0034.

According to DexScreener, at the time of writing, FTX has a market capitalization of $341,000.

At the same time, a meme coin Som Bonkmon Fraud (SBF) appeared on Solana. The token quickly grew from $0.000095 to $0.012 — by 12,500%. But traders also quickly sold off the asset, bringing the price down by 95% from the maximum.

The coin has become an addition to a series of parody tokens of celebrities with spelling mistakes like Danold Tromp and Olen Mosk. The capitalization of one such meme coin-Jeo Boden (BODEN) — exceeded $200 million.

The native token of the FTX exchange (FTT) after the sentencing of its founder collapsed by 20%, to $1.90.

Recall that in late February, SBF lawyer Mark Mukasi requested a sentence ranging from 63 to 78 months in prison for his client. The lawyer called the proposed life sentence too "grotesque".

The court received 29 letters in support of Bankman-Fried asking for a commutation of his future sentence, including from members of his family and a cellmate.
 

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"I didn't think it was illegal"-Sam Bankman-Fried's revelations after the verdict.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) is remorseful for his actions that led him to a 25-year prison sentence. He stated this in an interview with ABC News.

"It's a big part of what I think about every day," the former CEO of the trading platform added.

According to him, FTX's insolvency was the result of several "bad decisions" it made in 2022.

SBF said it had "heard and seen despair, frustration and a sense of betrayal from thousands of customers" who "deserve full compensation at current prices."

"[Damages] could and should have happened in November 2022, and it could and should happen today. It's painful to see them waiting day after day," he said.

Bankman-Fried "felt pain" from colleagues when he "threw away what they had invested their lives in." The former FTX CEO also regrets the situation of charitable organizations, " since their funding has brought nothing but reputational damage."

SBF said it never intended to "harm anyone or take away anyone's money", but it regrets the collapse of the company and accepts full responsibility as its head.

"I would give anything for the sake of compensation for at least part of the damage. I do my best while in prison, but it's very frustrating that I can't do more," said the founder of the collapsed company.

According to Bankman-Fried, if he or another FTX employee had stayed on as CEO, customers "would have been paid back long ago." SBF also criticized the company's decision not to restart the exchange.

Later, the former CEO's defense team plans to appeal based on some of the testimony at the trial, which " significantly distorted what actually happened."

"I never thought I was doing anything illegal. But I tried to meet high standards and definitely did not meet them," he stressed.
 
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