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‘Crypto King’ Sam Bankman-Fried jailed for 25 years

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Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for scamming clients and investors at his now-defunct company.

The judgment solidifies the former billionaire’s demise, since he rose to prominence as a crypto advocate before to his company’s spectacular collapse in 2022.

He was proven to have taken billions from consumers prior to the disaster.

Bankman-Fried’s legal team plans to appeal his conviction.

A spokesman for Bankman-Fried sent a letter from his parents with the BBC, saying: “We are heartbroken and will continue to fight for our son.”

Earlier, the 32-year-old stated in court that he was aware that “a lot of people” were “really let down”.

“I apologize for that. “I’m sorry for what happened at every stage,” he added, speaking gently and clearly before his sentencing.

Prior to its dissolution, FTX was one of the world’s top cryptocurrency exchanges, transforming Bankman-Fried into a business celebrity and drawing millions of consumers who bought and traded cryptocurrencies on the site.

Rumours of financial problems caused a run on deposits in 2022, causing the firm’s demise and exposing Bankman-Fried’s misdeeds.

He was convicted by a New York jury last year on counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to conduct money laundering, following a trial that described how he took more than $8 billion (£6.3 billion) from consumers and used the money to purchase property, make political payments, and invest in other ventures.

Before reading the sentence on Thursday, Judge Lewis Kaplan slammed Bankman-Fried’s behavior, saying he lied during his trial testimony when he claimed he was unaware until the last minute that his companies were taking money entrusted to them for safekeeping by customers and using it for other purposes.

Everyone was misled by Sam Bankman-Fried’s enormous gamble.

Bankman-Fried had voiced “protestations of sorrow” over consumer losses, but he had never expressed “a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes,” he said.

While 25 years is a hefty jail term, it is far less than the more than 100 years that Bankman-Fried could have gotten under official government rules.

The parents of FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried, Barbara Fried and Allan Joseph Bankman, were “heartbroken” following the sentencing. Federal prosecutors in New York recently informed the judge that such a lengthy sentence was unnecessary.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Kaplan stated that a life term was unnecessary, but Bankman-Fried must receive a punishment adequate to deter future offenses.

“There is a risk that this man will be in a position to do something very bad in the future and it’s not a trivial risk, not a trivial risk at all,” he added.

He also ordered Bankman-Fried to forfeit $11 billion, which might be used to compensate victims.

Some of those assets have already been taken by the authorities, including Bankman-Fried’s interests in Robinhood, a trading app that garnered over $600 million when it was sold last year.

Bankman-Fried had no evident reaction to the decision.


Head of content and Editor-at-large at – Dickson Ofori Siaw is a blunt writer who loves to make his readers see "the other perspectives of a news story". Follow me on Twitter @kwadwo_dost