Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years

( – U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan sent a strong message during the sentencing of self-proclaimed “crypto king” Sam Bankman-Fried – “justice will be swift, and the consequences will be severe” for anyone who is caught in fraud and financial crimes.

Bankman-Fried was sentenced to serve 25 years in jail for defrauding users of his now-defunct FTX cryptocurrency exchange. There were some attempts by his defense to use a purported diagnosis of autism to excuse his actions, but these ultimately failed. His lawyers asked for a maximum of 78 months in prison, but Judge Kaplan dismissed the notion, imposing the quarter of a century sentence instead. Prosecutors had asked for a 50-year jail sentence for the fallen cryptocurrency businessman.

Judge Kaplan’s sentencing of Bankman-Fried was filled with scathing commentary on the fraudster’s character and behavior. Bankman-Fried’s name, the judge said, was “pretty much mud around the world,” and the sentence reflected the court’s assessment that if let go, the 32-year-old California native could potentially do something else “very bad in the future.” The sentencing was, Kaplan added, aimed at “disabling him to the extent that can appropriately be done.”

Kaplan also recommended a medium-security prison close to San Francisco, as his reputation would make him a vulnerable target in a high-security jail.

Bankman-Fried himself lamented the sentence, reiterating an argument he and his lawyers made in court that he had the capability to pay back his creditors if only the court would allow him the freedom to do so.

“It’s deeply frustrating not to be able to do more,” he said. He also claimed that the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, who represents the new owners of the exchange, were in cahoots with prosecutors.

However, Kaplan also rejected the argument when it was made in court, saying that Bankman-Fried’s claims were “speculative,” “misleading,” and “logically flawed.”

More strikingly though, Bankman-Fried displayed a stunning lack of remorse for his actions, saying, “I never thought that what I was doing was illegal.”

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