Judge Tears Into Sam Bankman-Fried, Hits Him with Massive Prison Sentence

Judge Tears Into Sam Bankman-Fried, Hits Him with Massive Prison Sentence

Sam Bankman-Fried, colloquially known by his initials SBF, characterized by a Manhattan judge as a power-driven fraudster lacking remorse, received a 25-year prison term on Thursday for embezzling over $8 billion from FTX customers, his defunct cryptocurrency exchange.

Judge Lewis Kaplan tore into the 32-year-old MIT graduate for masquerading as a proponent of cryptocurrency regulation, which he suggested was just a facade aimed at amplifying his political influence, the New York Post reported.

Judge Kaplan said of SBF that he is a “remorseless” convicted fraudster who put on an “act’ in which he “presented himself as the good guy” all in favor of “appropriate regulation of the crypto industry.”

“He knew it was wrong, he knew it was criminal, he regrets that he made a very bad bet about the likelihood of being caught,” Kaplan said.

Prior to his sentencing, SBF lawyers submitted a letter to Judge Kaplan and accused prosecutors of casting their client as a “depraved super-villain” with “dark and megalomaniacal motives.”

According to Business Insider, SBF’s lawyers wrote, “It adopts a medieval view of punishment to reach what amounts to a death-in-prison sentencing recommendation. That is not justice.”

In January, Ian Ayres and John Donohue penned what appears to be one of very few pieces in SBF’s defense titled, “FTX Was Never Really Bankrupt,” in which they posited that the prosecution repeatedly asserted that FTX customers lost over $8 billion due to SBF’s actions, “but never substantiated that claim. In reality, the crypto exchange had sufficient assets to make creditors whole all along — a fact that would likely change the public’s perception of its founder.”

Moments before Judge Kaplan handed down his sentencing, SBF denied having selfish motives and apologized “about what happened at every stage,” noting that “a lot of people feel really let down, and I’m sorry about that.”

SBF continued, “I made a series of bad decisions, they weren’t selfish decisions, they weren’t selfless decisions. They were bad decisions.”

His attorneys and his mother, a Stanford professor, argued for a lesser sentence during his trial, highlighting his charitable intentions and suggesting he might not make it in prison due to his autistic spectrum condition.

However, this did not seem to deter prosecutors who continued to underscore the extensive harm caused to FTX’s investors, lenders, and customers — many of which were from developing countries and entrusted the exchange with what little they had.

His sentencing evoked many reactions over social media.

SBF was also ordered to pay $11 billion in restitution.

He is likely to appeal his sentencing.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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