FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

Yesterday, March 28, the Southern District Court of New York ruled that Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The decision was announced by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, according to Engadget.

According to CNN, Benkman-Fried expressed regret for his actions and the impact they had on people. He noted: “It was unbearably painful to watch. Customers don’t deserve to go through that kind of pain.” Recognizing the seriousness of his situation, he added: “My useful life is probably over.”

Judge Kaplan, commenting on the sentencing, expressed concern that Benkman-Fried might do something else negative in the future, so he decided to “incapacitate him for a significant period of time.”

The defendant intends to appeal the verdict. His defense argued that he deserved a relatively lenient sentence of five to 6.5 years, pointing to his charitable work and willingness to compensate the victims. However, the prosecutor’s office insisted on a much harsher sentence, suggesting a term of 40 to 50 years to emphasize the seriousness of his crimes.

Benkman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas in December 2022 and faces seven charges, including bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Prosecutors argued that he used the funds of the FTX crypto exchange to support a related company, Alameda Research, and his ex-girlfriend and Alameda CEO, Caroline Allison, confirmed these facts by confessing to the fraud.

During the trial, Benkman-Fried expressed regret for his actions and lack of awareness of the situation with both companies, which led to FTX’s bankruptcy and large losses for customers and creditors.

As a reminder, the FTX crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy in November 2022. This happened after a liquidity crisis and massive withdrawals by clients, which undermined confidence in the platform and caused significant financial problems for the company.

Until the liquidity crisis and subsequent bankruptcy, FTX was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It had millions of users worldwide and processed billions of dollars worth of transactions. During peak periods, the market value of FTX and its impact on the global crypto market were significant, making it a key player in the cryptocurrency industry. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was also known for his investments and charitable activities in the crypto sphere before the company’s financial problems.

Suspicions about the activities of Sam Bankman-Fried and his management of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange began to emerge in the public before the company’s bankruptcy in November 2022. In particular, this happened after the publication in October 2022 of materials indicating a close financial connection between FTX and its affiliated trading company Alameda Research. It was pointed out that Alameda had a significant portion of its assets in the form of FTT tokens, which were the FTX exchange’s own currency, which violated potential financial regulations and created a conflict of interest.

The situation escalated when another major cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, announced its intention to sell its stock of FTT tokens, causing their price to plummet and prompting massive withdrawals from FTX. This has raised questions about FTX’s liquidity and financial stability, and has prompted additional investigations into possible financial fraud and mismanagement of customer funds. As a result, the attention of regulators and investors was drawn to Bankman-Fried and its role in potential violations, leading to further legal prosecution.

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