Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years in prison

Sam Bankman-Fried has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for stealing $8 billion from customers of FTX, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange he founded.

Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven counts last November following a highly publicised trial in Manhattan federal court in one of the biggest financial fraud cases in history.

Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of between 40 and 50 years, while Bankman-Fried's lawyer argued for less than five and a quarter years.

Before sentencing, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said: "He knew it was wrong. He knew it was criminal. He regrets that he made a very bad bet about the likelihood of getting caught. But he is not going to admit a thing, as is his right."

The judge said that he had found that FTX customers lost $8 billion, while equity investors lost $1.7 billion, and lenders to the Bankman-Fried's Alameda Research hedge fund lost $1.3 billion.

"The defendant's assertion that FTX customers and creditors will be paid in full is misleading, it is logically flawed, it is speculative," said Kaplan. "A thief who takes his loot to Las Vegas and successfully bets the stolen money is not entitled to a discount on the sentence by using his Las Vegas winnings to pay back what he stole."

Kaplan said Bankman-Fried engaged in "evasive, hairsplitting" testimony during his trial, adding that he had "never seen a performance quite like that".

Bankman-Fried told the court: "A lot of people feel really let down, and they were very let down, and I am sorry about that. I am sorry about what happened at every stage."

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