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Sam Bankman-Fried just got sentenced to 25 years in prison

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Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was just sentenced to 25 years behind bars in a ruling handed forth New York’s Southern District Court. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan announced the decision this morning.

As posted by CNN, Bankman-Fried expressed regret for his actions and the people he harmed. “It’s been excruciating to watch,” he said. “Customers don’t deserve any of that pain.” He also acknowledged the serious time he was likely to spend behind bars. “My useful life is probably over,” he said. “It’s been over for a while now.”

Bankman-Fried is expected to appeal the decision. His defense team asked for a sentence of five to 6.5 years, citing his “charitable works and demonstrated commitment to others.” The team also suggested lenience on the grounds that victims would be made whole, referring to a January bankruptcy court hearing showing that customers and creditors will get their money back. Prosecutors, on the other hand, wanted something much harsher. They asked for a sentence of 40 to 50 years “to reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s crimes,” US Attorney Damian Williams told the court earlier this month. The maximum possible sentence was 110 years.

SBF, as he’s now infamously known, was arrested in the Bahamas back in December of 2022. He faced seven charges, including wire fraud against FTX customers, wire fraud against Alameda Research lenders, conspiracy to commit wire fraud against both entities, conspiracy to commit securities and commodities fraud on FTX customers and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was found guilty of all charges.

The trial lasted one month, with prosecutors arguing that he used FTX funds to keep sibling company Alameda Research afloat. Caroline Ellison, his one-time girlfriend and CEO of Alameda, confirmed this to be true and admitted that she committed fraud on behalf of Bankman-Fried. The defendant’s lawyers, on the other hand, tried to portray him as a hapless math nerd who wrestled with “forces largely outside of his control.”

Alameda borrowed more than $8 billion from FTX, money that was taken from accounts belonging to FTX customers. Bankman-Fried claims he only learned of this in 2020 but performed no actions to safeguard the funds. He took the stand during the trial and said that he deeply regrets “not taking a deeper look into” what was going on with both companies. FTX collapsed and filed for bankruptcy in 2022.

“Clearly, I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again,” he told the New York Times before the trial started.

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