‘Crypto King’ Sam Bankman-Fried Jailed for 25 Years After Stealing Billions of Dollars from FTX Customers

Disgraced cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried has received a 25-year prison sentence following his conviction for embezzling billions from his clients.

Formerly the CEO of FTX, the company abruptly declared bankruptcy in November 2022, leaving countless users unable to access their accounts or withdraw funds.

Despite facing a potential century-long sentence, the 32-year-old’s legal team contended that such a punishment would be excessively severe, advocating instead for a five-year term.

Initially reported as a 20-year sentence, it has since been clarified that Bankman-Fried will serve 25 years behind bars.

Prosecutors had urged the judge to impose a 40 to 50-year sentence, emphasizing the necessity of safeguarding the public from the perpetrator’s actions and deterring future fraudulent behavior.

“The defendant victimised tens of thousands of people and companies, across several continents, over a period of multiple years,” prosecutors said in a court filing.

“He stole money from customers who entrusted it to him; he lied to investors; he sent fabricated documents to lenders; he pumped millions of dollars in illegal donations into our political system; and he bribed foreign officials. Each of these crimes is worthy of a lengthy sentence.”

During the trial, prosecutors asserted that Bankman-Fried had caused losses exceeding $10 billion to customers, investors, and lenders through the misappropriation of funds to advance his influence and dominance within the emerging industry.

They further alleged that he unlawfully utilized money from FTX depositors to support his lavish lifestyle, including the acquisition of luxury properties in the Caribbean, purported bribes to Chinese officials, and private air travel.

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During sentencing, Judge Lewis Kaplan rebuked the businessman for his deceit on the witness stand, where he denied any knowledge of the misuse of customer funds.

The judge also criticized Bankman-Fried’s assertion that victims would be fully compensated, labeling it as “misleading and logically flawed.”

“A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully bets the stolen money is not entitled to a discount on the sentence by using his Las Vegas winnings to pay back what he stole,” Judge Kaplan warned.

The judge expressed concerns that the sentence indicated “a significant risk of this individual committing severe offenses in the future, which is far from trivial.”

He further stated that the aim was “to incapacitate him to the fullest extent possible for a considerable duration.”

Prior to receiving his sentence, Mr. Bankman-Fried offered a lengthy and somewhat disjointed apology.

(Sky News)